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Sunday 23rd October 2016

Patient safety is priority

11th January 2007

08052006_bloodtransfusion1.jpgServices responsible for ensuring patient safety are facing a major shake-up.

England's Chief Medical Officer Liam Donaldson wants to see quicker reforms, following the publication of a detailed report in December.

He said although the vast majority of patients receive safe care, mistakes are often down to system failures rather than individuals.

The systems in place for reporting incidents need to be made easier and quicker for staff to use, he said, and by next year all levels of the NHS would need to consider patient safety as a priority.

The first meeting of a national forum chaired by Prof Donaldson and NHS Chief Executive David Nicholson will bring together key agencies responsible for patient safety to facilitate learning, share best practice, and coordinate delivery.

The National Patient Safety Agency will switch its efforts to collect and analyse patient safety information with a simplified and more accessible reporting system.

The document, 'Safety first: a report for patients, clinicians, and healthcare managers', calls for incidents involving serious harm or ‘near misses’ to patients to be reported within 36 hours.

The report also called for a national campaign to promote patient safety to clinical staff, and better support for patients when things go wrong. It suggests introducing patient safety action teams at local level to support frontline staff.

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