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View safety alerts

Published on 09 October 2020

We distribute safety alerts to all local authorities and health boards in Scotland.

You can also access them from our publications library.

To view MHRA safety alerts, visit the GOV.UK website.

For NHS Improvement safety alerts, visit the NHS Improvement website.

About alerts

Safety alerts highlight risks that were previously unknown or which need to be managed differently in light of new information.

An alert can provide guidance on managing risks as well as sources of further information and support.

National Patient Safety Alert (NatPSA)

NatPSAs contain information about a wide range of safety issues including medical devices. They are produced by several agencies including Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and NHS Improvement.

We help produce and distribute these alerts by partnering with these agencies as well as Healthcare Improvement Scotland and our counterparts in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Medical device alert (MDA)

MDAs are no longer issued but many remain current. They contain information about safety issues which affect medical devices.

We produced MDAs in partnership with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and our counterparts in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Estates and facilities alert (EFA)

EFAs contain information about safety issues which affect Scotland's health facilities and estates.

We publish EFAs in partnership with NHS Improvement and our counterparts in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Safety action notice (SAN)

SANs contain information about safety issues which affect Scotland only.

We have also used SANs to publish Scottish versions of equipment-related Patient Safety Alerts, although we now pass them on as they are published. PSAs are published in England by NHS Improvement.

Manufacturer Field Safety Notice (FSN)

Field Safety Notices contain important safety information about medical devices. They include guidance about what to do to reduce the specified risks of using the device.

Device manufacturers and suppliers send these to affected customers directly.

MHRA monitors compliance with all FSNs and posts copies on its website.

If you receive an FSN, send a copy to the Equipment Co-ordinator for your health board or local authority. Visit Find your Equipment Co-ordinator for more information.

Get in touch

Many current alerts are available online, but copies of older alerts can still be requested. If you would like to request an older alert, or if you have a question about a safety alert, email nss.iric@nhs.scot or call 0131 275 7575.