Reporting serious incidents in the healthcare service

Patients, users and next of kin have the right to notify the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision and the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board of deaths and very serious injuries following incidents in the healthcare service. You can submit these notifications via the Helsenorge website.

The right to notify the Board of Health Supervision (Helsetilsynet) and the Healthcare Investigation Board (Ukom) is in addition to your right to contact the provider of the healthcare service concerned directly, and your right to ask the County Governor to evaluate the healthcare concerned.

If you wish to report concerns about serious circumstances which are not linked to a specific incident, you can contact Ukom.

The purpose of the reporting scheme for the most serious incidents is to enable unacceptable circumstances to be reported faster, so that they can be remedied and patient safety improved.

What incidents can you report?

The criteria for reporting serious incidents are as follows:

  • death or very serious injury to the patient or user, and
  • the incident occurred in the healthcare service, or as a result of a patient or user injuring another patient or user, and
  • the outcome is unexpected, and
  • the incident occurred after 1 July 2019

All these criteria must be met in order to report a serious incident to the Board of Health Supervision and the Healthcare Investigation Board.

If the incident occurred before 1 July 2019 or you wish to report circumstances other than death or very serious injury, you must contact your nearest County Governor.

Who can report incidents?

Patients, users and next of kin can notify the Board of Health Supervision and the Healthcare Investigation Board of serious incidents which have occurred in the healthcare service.

Next of kin is the person who the patient or user has stated as being their next of kin.

If a patient or user is unable to give details of a next of kin or no further information is provided about the patient’s or user’s next of kin, the question who is next of kin will be determined on the basis of the specified order of persons described in Section 1-3(b) of the Patient and User Rights Act.

You can still contact the County Governor even if you are not the patient’s or user’s next of kin. You can also report any concerns you may have to the Healthcare Investigation Board.

How do I report an incident?

You can report very serious incidents to the Board of Health Supervision and the Healthcare Investigation Board using this form on the Helsenorge website. In the form, you can choose whether you wish to notify either the Board of Health Supervision or the Healthcare Investigation Board, or both.

If you are unable to report an incident using the form, you can call the Board of Health Supervision on phone number 21 52 99 00

If you are unable to report an incident using the form, you can also contact the Healthcare Investigation Board.

You should report very serious incidents in the healthcare service to the Board of Health Supervision and the Healthcare Investigation Board

The form for reporting very serious incidents requires you to have consented to full access. If you wish to check the level of consent you have given or to change your consent, you can do this under Privacy settings.

What will the Board of Health Supervision do next?

The Board of Health Supervision will investigate the matter. You will be contacted by phone if necessary. Once the matter has been assessed, you will receive a letter with information on the Board of Health Supervision’s conclusions. You will receive the letter within three weeks.

What will the Healthcare Investigation Board do next?

The Healthcare Investigation Board considers all notifications. When the Healthcare Investigation Board receives a notification, it will look into the matter to determine whether there are any circumstances which could compromise patient safety. You will be contacted if the Healthcare Investigation Board needs more information or starts an investigation.

Processing of personal data

The information you enter in the form to report a serious incident will be processed securely and in accordance with the Personal Data Act. Find out more about the general conditions of use and contact details for the Data Protection Officer in the conditions of use for Helsenorge.

Other complaints about healthcare services

Have you experienced a healthcare service failure which does not concern death or very serious injury?

What you should do and who you should contact will depend on what has happened.

Here is overview of who you should contact to complain and who can help you:

Patient and user organisations can also provide assistance in the form of guidance and help in writing complaints. An overview of these can be found here.

Useful links:

Other schemes for supervision, complaints and compensation (Norwegian Board of Health Supervision)

County Governor

Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board, Ukom