Why do SEA?

Significant Event Audit (SEA) provides teams with a focus for clinical governance by wrapping into one activity many aspects which improve the quality of care.


Team building SEA is a multi-professional activity, helping individuals to understand and support the role of others. In an increasingly stressful working environment, SEA provides an opportunity to look out for each other.

Patient Safety SEA is a forum where events, good and not so good, can be discussed in an environment free from blame, when the emphasis is on improving systems.

Culture of Openness the learning from SEA can be shared both within a team and also between teams. The latter will be possible with suitable agreements about levels of confidentiality and anonymity.

Tool for learning SEA triggers learning, both personal and for the team. Outcomes should be recorded in both Personal Learning Plans (PLP) and recognised as a team learning activity.


Adverse Events Elsewhere in the NHS - As SEA is used increasingly by teams in a variety of settings in the NHS, adverse events which involve teams in other organisations can be tackled. An incident may become apparent to a general practice but the problem may lie in the Out of Hours Service who also undertake SEA. The learning can be shared between both teams.


Basis of Reporting Mechanisms It will be required that teams will report adverse incidents to the Clinical Governance Lead of their Trust. SEA provides an excellent foundation for a reporting framework which will in time become "e-reporting" and the learning shared between teams by "e-learning".