Northern Ireland Adverse Incident Centre (NIAIC)
The Northern Ireland Adverse Incident Centre (NIAIC) operates as a function of the DHSSPS with the objective of taking all reasonable action within its remit to safeguard the health of HSC service-users and staff through the provision of a regional centre for the voluntary reporting and investigation of adverse incidents involving medical devices, non-medical equipment, plant and building elements and for providing relevant safety guidance in relation to these items .
NIAIC issues the following information
- Medical Device Alerts (MDA’s)
- Estates and Facilities Alert (EFA’s)
- NIAIC Alerts (NIA’s)
- Patient Safety Alerts (PSA’s)
NIAIC has direct links with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) who co-ordinate information across the adverse incident centres in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for issues concerning medical device safety. NIAIC also has links with Estates and Facilities Division - Department of Health UK and other bodies for safety issues concerning non-medical equipment, plant and building items.
NIAIC places high importance on the open reporting of adverse incidents. Part of our work is encouraging a shift to a safety culture in the HSC, where open reporting and balanced analysis are encouraged in principle and by example to achieve continual improvement and learning in patient and staff safety. This is in contrast to a blame culture, which can encourage people to cover up errors for fear of retribution and can act against the identification of the true causes of failure due to focusing on individual actions and not taking account of the role of the underlying systems.
For this reason NIAIC also encourages the reporting of any minor faults and discrepancies, since they may take on a greater significance when aggregated with other similar events in demonstrating trends or may be indicators of inadequate quality assurance on the part of the manufacturer or supplier.