Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants NHS trusts to develop plans for halving, by 2016-17, “avoidable harm” to patients arising from preventable problems such as medication errors, blood clots and bedsores. It is estimated that this could eliminate a third of the preventable deaths the NHS in England, saving 6,000 lives over the next three years.
The “Sign up to Safety” initiative is to be voluntary. It will involve trusts estimating the frequency of mistakes anticipated and then devising plans to reduce this number by half. Trusts will receive incentives in the form of reduced insurance premiums.
A section on the NHS Choices website (to be launched in June 2014) called “How Safe Is My Hospital” will allow patients to compare patient safety in terms of a range of indicators.
Triggle, N. (2014). NHS urged to halve serious mistakes and save 6,000 lives. London: BBC Health News, March 26th 2014.
This relates to:
Halving avoidable harm and saving up to 6,000 lives. London: Department of Health, March 26th 2014.
Jeremy Hunt: message to NHS staff about making the NHS safer. London: Department of Health, March 28th 2014.
Incident Reporting and NHS Patient Safety Culture
A Department of Health analysis of reporting incidents indicates that 29 of 141 hospital trusts in England do not register the expected number of safety incidents. Lower-than-expected rates of incident reporting may be construed as a problematic warning sign, at least in some cases.
Triggle, N. (2014). One-fifth of hospitals ‘may be covering up mistakes’. London: BBC Health News, June 24th 2014.
Patient and Family Engagement
Possibly also of interest, there is a recent report from the United States which looks at the importance of patient and family engagement in safe care. “Safety Is Personal: Partnering with Patients and Families for the Safest Care” identifies steps in making patient and family engagement core to the provision of health care.
Safety is personal: partnering with patients and families for the safest care. Report of the roundtable on consumer engagement in patient safety. Boston [MA. USA]: The National Patient Safety Foundation’s Lucian Leape Institute, March 2014.
There is also an Executive Summary.