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English NHS to set up new reporting system for errors

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7251.1692/g (Published 24 June 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1692
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    The NHS in England is to set up a new, national system for logging all failures, mistakes, and “near misses” in health care and is to move away from the current “blame culture” to one that can learn from adverse events; these changes follow recommendations in a major report published last week.

    The report suggests that the health service can learn from industry, particularly aviation, about how to learn from incidents and near misses. It acknowledges that the great majority of NHS care is of a very high clinical standard and serious failures are uncommon.

    It points out, however, that up to 850 000 adverse healthcare events occur each year in the NHS hospital sector alone. Lack of systematic collection of information is seen as a major block in helping the NHS to improve its management of mistakes.

    At the moment, NHS organisations are required to have incident reporting …

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