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NHS wants to halve serious mistakes

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has suggested that individual NHS trusts draw up plans to reduce the number of serious mistakes they make every year.  He hopes to potentially halve the number of serious, and avoidable, mistakes made within the NHS, with the hope to save around 6,000 lives over the next three years.  The project, called ‘Sign up to Safety’, will be wholly reliant on individual trusts identifying the number of mistakes they make, from which they will each be able to draw up a plan to potentially reduce the number by half.

With many hospital deaths being preventable, recognised as “avoidable harm”, Jeremy Hunt has decided that action must be taken.  “Avoidable harm” includes blood clots, medical errors and bedsores, all of which should cause 6,000 fewer deaths by 2016-17.  The trusts that take action will receive reduced premiums for insurance cover.

“Once-in-a-generation opportunity to save lives”

The major drive has been accompanied by numerous other measures designed to improve the health service’s safety.  Even though an improvement within hospitals is currently the primary aim, mental health trusts and community services will soon also be urged to take part.

Peter Walsh from the campaigning group Action Against Medical Accidents commended the health secretary for his decision to make such bold improvements.

Mr Hunt said: “We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to save lives and prevent avoidable harm – which will empower staff and save money that can be re-invested in patient care.”

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