Health expert calls for 25 trusts to be inspected for excess deaths

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 26 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1745
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

    The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) says there has been a decrease in the number of reported patient safety incidents that resulted in death, but the figures have been criticised by a leading health expert as a gross underestimate.

    There were 1160 incidents that resulted in death reported in the six months between 1 April and 30 September 2009, down from 1856 in the same period the previous year.

    The number of reported incidents that resulted in severe harm to the patient also fell from 3643 to 2412. At the same time there was a sharp jump in the total number of patient incidents reported to the NPSA, up from 379 345 to 473 162.

    From 1 April, under the new registration system, it will be mandatory for all NHS organisations to report all serious incidents to the NPSA.

    But Brian Jarman, emeritus professor at London Imperial College School of Medicine and head of the Dr Foster Intelligent Unit, told the BMJ, “These methods of self reporting are fundamentally flawed and the NPSA is simply not recording all the incidents that occur.”

    A BBC Panorama investigation earlier …

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