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Patient Safety Is Compromised Says Healthcare Chief - Leading Clinical Negligence Lawyer Comments

Medical Law and Patients rights


A report published this week by leading healthcare watchdog the Healthcare Commission has criticised the level of safety given to patients in hospitals in England and Wales.

Sir Ian Kennedy, the Commission's Chairman said that the NHS needed to raise its game in order to improve standards of care given to patients. And that the NHS needed to take patient safety more seriously to improve standards in hospitals.

Commenting on the report David Body, head of Clinical Negligence at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors said:

Patient safety must be paramount and must not be compromised. Sir Ian's concern that deaths and injuries in hospitals are not being accurately recorded is very worrying. Accurate reporting of deaths and injuries is essential in order to ascertain where problems begin, to resolve any safety issues that may arise and to make sure that lessons are learnt where problems or near misses are identified.

I see many people who have been injured as a result of sub-standard care and safety in hospitals. Accurate reporting of injuries and near misses is vital in order to help prevent adverse incidents. The highest priority must be given to promoting and upholding patient safety in order to protect and reassure patients.

Sir Ian Kennedy said that deaths were not being recorded accurately enough and that there needed to be a clearer way of recording deaths and injuries in hospitals, in order to make improvements and to improve the level of care given to patients and patient safety.

Although the vast majority of care was of a reasonable standard, substantial improvements were needed, said the report.

And the delivery of healthcare services needed to be more focussed on the needs of patients, and communication between healthcare professionals and patients improved.

The report is available on the Healthcare Commission's website at www.cqc.org.uk.