30 March 2015
Medical Accidents Investigation Team to Improve Patient Safety
Every year it is estimated that there are around 12,000 avoidable hospital deaths and more than 10,000 serious incidents within NHS England including 338 "never events", such as surgery being carried out on the wrong part of the body/patient or leaving surgical equipment in patients.
In light of the Morecambe Bay and Mid Staffordshire investigations, the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee is now endorsing setting up an investigation team rather than the shared roles of the Care Quality Commission and Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
Any positive steps that can be taken to improve patient safety and welfare have to be welcomed, but the Government must ensure that such a task force is both effective and has the necessary mandate to enable change quickly.
We see repeat errors arising and missed opportunities to reduce risk and learn vital lessons when such problems arise, thereby unnecessarily putting patients in danger, which can have catastrophic complications.
Through acting for many individuals and groups who have suffered substandard clinical care, effective lessons have to be learnt and acted upon by the NHS to demonstrate clearly and effectively how patient safety is improving given the repeated issues that are arising.
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