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Tuesday 24th April 2018

Patients at risk double in Wales

30th January 2009

A BBC investigation has found that over 56,000 incidents put health service patients "at risk of harm" in Wales in 2008.


The number of errors has "doubled" since 2005/06, when 28,000 cases of patient accident, infection or staff abuse were recorded.

BBC Wales Dragon's Eye programme took the figures from the National Reporting and Learning System. It gathers together data from all health service organisations in Wales.

An incident is recorded if it "could have or did lead to harm for one or more patients receiving NHS care". About 25% of these errors caused patients to be physically harmed.

The reporting system is not compulsory and experts have called for legal investigations to be carried out for each incident.

Carol Jones, the director of the board of community health councils in Wales said she was "appalled" that the amount of incidents had increased.

She said more Welsh organisations heard from people who had family or friends who had experienced an incident in hospital.

"Patient accidents" scored highest in the number of incidents recorded, with over 23,000 listed.

The chief medical officer for Wales Dr Tony Jewell said: "By encouraging all NHS organisations in Wales to report every patient safety incident to the National Patient Safety Agency, we can learn from these errors and reduce the risk of these happening again."


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