Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced a programme of annual reviews into avoidable deaths in English hospitals. The plan is to improve patient safety and promote the culture of openness and honesty in the NHS.
Jeremy Hunt orders yearly study of ‘avoidable’ hospital deaths. London: BBC Health News, February 8th 2015.
A related subsequent message:
Jeremy Hunt: message to NHS staff highlighting achievements. London: Department of Health, March 27th 2015.
This follows an analysis of falling mortality rates in hospitals placed into special measures in 2013. It has been estimated that hundreds of avoidable deaths have since been averted at the eleven failing hospital trusts (five of which are now out of the special measures regime). Research by Dr Foster’s healthcare analysis group found death rates had fallen faster (a 9.4% reduction) in these hospitals than the average for England (a 3.3% fall).
Mundasad, S. (2015). ‘Deaths averted’ at hospitals put into special measures. London: BBC Health News, February 8th 2015.
Pym, H. (2015). Intervention in underperforming hospitals may have saved lives. London: BBC Health News, February 8th 2015.
Possibly also of interest:
NHS complaints investigations inadequate, says review. London: BBC Health News, February 7th 2015.
Weekly Department of Health Troubleshooting Reviews Analyse NHS Performance
It has been disclosed that a ministerial-level committee meets weekly to monitor activity in the NHS, with a view to proactively discovering emerging problems (for example with problematic patient flows caused by delayed discharges from hospitals) and finding appropriate solutions early.
Pym, H. (2015). Are ministers too focused on the NHS? London: BBC Health News, February 10th 2015.
Questions of Investigative Capacity for NHS Patient Safety
The House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee has recommended that a national body should be established to investigate medical accidents in England, given the potential scale of problems in the NHS.
“It is estimated that there are 12,000 avoidable hospital deaths every year, and more than 10,000 serious incidents are reported to NHS England annually, including 338 ‘never events’ such as surgery being carried out on the wrong part of the body.”
Triggle, N. (2015). NHS medical accidents investigation unit ‘needed’. London: BBC Health News, March 27th 2015.
This relates to:
Investigating clinical incidents in the NHS. Sixth Report of Session 2014–15. Report, together with formal minutes relating to the report. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 24 March 2015. HC 886. Published on 27 March 2015 by authority of the House of Commons. London: House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee, March 26th 2015.