NHS Urged To Cut Serious Mistakes Through Patient Safety Scheme

Minister Urges Hospitals To Reduce Number Of Mistakes Made


Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged the NHS to cut the number of serious mistakes it makes by encouraging Trusts to be part of a ‘Sign up to Safety’ scheme.

Mr Hunt believes that the NHS has been culpable of being too careless in some cases, arguing that this is putting patient care at risk.

‘Sign up to Safety’ will ask Trusts to identify the number of mistakes made and then set up a plan to cut the figure down by 50 per cent.

The Conservative minister quoted figures that showed that even a moderate reduction in cases of "avoidable harm" would save 6,000 lives over the next three years, reports the BBC.

Among the accidents that Mr Hunt wants to see reduced are medication errors, unseen blood clots and bed sores.

The scheme will be primarily aimed at NHS hospitals, but will also look to seek assistance from mental health and community services, which have been under fire in the press in recent months due to a spate of accidental deaths.

"It is my clear ambition that the NHS should become the safest healthcare system anywhere in the world," Mr Hunt explained.

"We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to save lives and prevent avoidable harm - which will empower staff and save money that can be reinvested in patient care."

However, shadow health minister Jamie Reed said the Government is not learning the lessons of the past and that a decision to "hand out P45s to thousands of nurses and frontline staff" is putting patients at risk.

The Government denies it has shrunk its wage bill for financial reasons and stated it intends to improve the quality of care the general public experiences wherever possible, explaining that the Sign up to Safety scheme is part of this effort.

NHS executives have been hit by a number of accident scandals in recent weeks, including the case of a child at Great Ormond Street Hospital where a child had their brain injected with glue by mistake - causing serious disabilities.

Expert Opinion
We welcome the Sign up to Safety Scheme as we support any action that aims to cut negligence within the NHS, and other healthcare providers, and protect patient safety.

“However, it is important that the NHS considers the recurring themes that contribute to serious mistakes being made and that these are shared across the country to improve best practice and standards.

“We see on a daily basis the devastating impact medication errors, bed sores and undiagnosed blood clots can have on patients and families. We hope every Trust across the country will support the scheme to reinforce that patient safety is the top priority and that they are open to reform that will provide a better health service.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner