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Parliamentary report on patient safety

Date: 27/03/2015

The House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) has today published a report calling on the incoming Secretary of State for Health to establish a national independent patient safety investigation body. The PASC report found that Secretary of State for Health estimates there are 12,000 avoidable hospital deaths every year; more than 10,000 serious incidents reported to NHS England annually; 338 recorded “never events” (such as wrong site surgery) in 2013-14 and 174,872 written complaints received by the NHS.
The Committee said that while patients and NHS staff deserve to have clinical incidents investigated immediately at a local level, so that facts and evidence are established early, without the need to find blame, and regardless of whether a complaint has been raised, there also needs to be a clear effective central system for disseminating the lessons learned from local incidents across the NHS nationally. It said that the current NHS processes for investigating and learning from untoward clinical incidents are complicated, take far too long and are preoccupied with blame or avoiding financial liability.   The report concludes the Committee’s inquiry into NHS complaints and clinical failure, to which RCCP responded.

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