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English hospitals are failing to implement safety alerts

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 23 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1223
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

Half of all NHS trusts in England have not implemented potentially lifesaving patient safety alerts, says a new report from the patients’ group AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents).

Five trusts, including Barts and The London NHS Trust, had failed to comply with 10 or more alerts from the National Patient Safety Agency, and in 45 trusts at least five alerts had not been implemented. One trust, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, had 14 alerts outstanding, the highest number.

Alerts are issued after untoward incidents, such as confusion over two different types of the drug amphotericin, which led to the death of Paul Richards, a patient at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham in July 2007 (BMJ 2007;335:467, doi:10.1136/bmj.39329.504757.DB). The …

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