Intended for healthcare professionals


“Weak” safety culture behind errors, says chief medical officer

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 08 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:300
  1. Sally Hargreaves
  1. London

    Incidences of serious medical errors in clinical practice are rarely solely the fault of individual healthcare workers but are the fault of the entire system, Professor Liam Donaldson, England's chief medical officer, told NHS managers at a conference on patient safety in London last week.

    “Twenty five per cent of medical errors worldwide are caused by medication errors alone,” he noted in his keynote address.

    For errors occurring in the United Kingdom, he blamed poor design of the NHS's safety systems, inadequate reporting processes, and …

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