Intended for healthcare professionals


A fifth of acute trusts may be under-reporting medical errors

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 25 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g4257
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1The BMJ

England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has said that hospitals must do more to improve their reporting and responses concerning safety incidents, after a review found that a fifth of acute NHS trusts in England were not reporting the expected number of safety incidents.

He said that hospital trusts are to be given financial incentives if they produce safety plans that would cut litigation costs by reducing the number of avoidable incidents that occurred on their premises.

Data from the Department of Health showed that 25 of 141 trusts in England (18%) were classed as good in terms of their commitment to be open and honest about mistakes, 87 (62%) were rated as satisfactory, and 29 (21%) were given a red rating, indicating a poor performance. A poor rating meant that hospitals were reporting too few safety incidents or were not reporting often enough or that staff thought that their trust was not responding adequately …

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