Thursday, 8 October 2009

Errors by NHS staff led to 5,700 deaths in six months, report says

Figures from the National Patient Safety Agency showed that 459,500 patient safety incidents and near misses occurred in England between last October and March.

This is a 12 per cent increase on the previous six months but the agency, which collects and monitors safety data in the NHS, said that better reporting was fuelling the rise. Martin Fletcher, the agency’s chief executive, added: “More reports do not mean more risks to patients. Indeed, quite the reverse. These data are sound evidence of an improving reporting culture across the NHS. Frontline staff are more likely than ever to raise safety concerns much more openly.”

A breakdown showed that 303,016 cases, or 66 per cent, resulted in no harm to the patient, while 122,246 (27 per cent) resulted in low harm. Another 28,521 incidents (6 per cent) resulted in moderate harm, and 5,717 (1 per cent) resulted in death or severe harm. The most commonly reported incidents were accidents involving patients that could possibly have been prevented (32.8 per cent), followed by errors or near misses with treatments or procedures (10.1 per cent) and medication (9.4 per cent)...
Source: The Times

Thanks to JQ for emailing me the link!