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Rise in reports of safety incidents shows heightened awareness, says agency

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 29 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1767
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

    A fall last year in the number of reported patient safety incidents that resulted in death, along with a rise in the total number of reported incidents, shows an improved patient safety culture in the NHS in England, says the National Patient Safety Agency.

    The organisational patient safety incident reports for each trust show that 1160 incidents resulting in death were reported in the six months from 1 April to 30 September 2009, down from 1856 in the same period in 2008.

    The number of reported incidents that resulted in severe harm to the patient also fell, from 3643 to 2412. At the same time the total number of patient safety incidents reported to the agency rose sharply, from 379 345 to 473 162, reflecting an increase in reporting of incidents resulting in no or low harm.

    The agency’s director of patient safety, Suzette Woodward, said, “These latest data provide real evidence of an improved patient safety culture in the NHS, with a decrease in the severity of incidents reported and a corresponding, real …

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