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Patient safety

The latest patient safety related news

Highlighting learning from practitioners and research from human factors in health care.

Follow this theme to discover what patient safety means as a practice. We share learning from practitioners, and researchers and findings from the developing field of human factors in health care.

Patient safety

BBC News

Hospital sepsis deaths 'jump by a third'

Sepsis deaths recorded in England's hospitals have risen by more than a third in two years, according to data collected by a leading safety expert. In the year ending April 2017, there were 15,722 deaths in hospital or within 30 days of discharge, where sepsis was the leading cause. Prof Sir Brian Jarman believes staff shortages and overcrowding on wards are partly to blame.

BMJ Open Quality

Making surgical wards safer for patients with diabetes: reducing hypoglycaemia and insulin errors

High-quality perioperative diabetes care is essential to improve surgical outcomes for patients with diabetes. Inadequate perioperative diabetes care is associated with increased wound complications, higher mortality rates and increased length of hospital stay. Despite national guidelines, surgical wards remain a high-risk area for poor diabetes care.

BMJ Quality and Safety

Measurement of harms in community care: a qualitative study of use of the NHS Safety Thermometer

This study aimed to explore the use of a harm measurement tool, the NHS Safety Thermometer (NHS-ST), designed for use across diverse healthcare settings in the particular context of community care.

BMJ Quality and Safety

Task errors by emergency physicians are associated with interruptions, multitasking, fatigue and working memory capacity

Interruptions and multitasking have been demonstrated in experimental studies to reduce individuals’ task performance. This study assessed the relative contributions of interruptions and multitasking by emergency physicians to prescribing errors.

Care Quality Commission

The safer management of controlled drugs: Annual update 2017

Report makes recommendations to ensure continuing effectiveness of the arrangements for managing controlled drugs (CDs) in England. Stakeholders include accountable officers, organisations, healthcare professionals, commissioners and professional healthcare and regulatory bodies.


Leaked figures reveal more patients coming to harm as NHS standards fall

The number of “serious incidents” involving what the NHS calls “sub-optimal care of deteriorating patients” is going up in hospitals, ambulance services and mental health settings. The trend has emerged in previously unpublished NHS England figures provided to former Liberal Democrat health minister Norman Lamb, who has branded them “deeply disturbing”.


NHS outsourcing to Capita could have put patients at risk of serious harm

The hiring of a private company to carry out back-office tasks for NHS England "was a shambles", MPs said. The outsourcing of primary care support services to Capita put patients "potentially at risk of serious harm". The Public Accounts Committee said neither the NHS nor Capita understood the service.

NHS England

NHS action plan can prevent over 600 still births a year

Evaluation shows clinical improvements across 19 sites led to maternity staff helping to save more than 160 babies’ lives. An estimated 600 stillbirths annually could be prevented if maternity units adopt national best practice says NHS England.

No Harm Done

No Harm Done podcast

This is a monthly podcast series that is “about improving, exploring, understanding and getting on with healthcare safety and quality”. Presented by Cathy Balding and Cathy Jones who both have extensive experience in the world of safety and quality in healthcare.

Royal College of Physicians

Making hospitals safer - RCP sets out safe staffing levels to protect patients

For the first time, the RCP has described the staffing levels that need to be in place to provide care for patients, which will enable NHS trusts to map their current staffing against the recommendations to ensure they are able to provide safe care for patients.

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