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Keeping afloat in a sea of patient safety information: reform and patient views

11 November 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 20


John Tingle, Lecturer in Law, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, discusses some recently published reports on patient safety and health quality


The NHS in England is no sloth when it comes to the publication of reports into patient safety and health quality. Publications appear from the NHS and other stakeholders, nationally and globally, on an almost weekly if not daily basis. There cannot be said to be a dearth of practical and helpful advice in these areas. The difficulty here is also that patient safety itself has become a global service industry with a myriad of stakeholders promoting differing and, in some instances, competing agendas. Which do nurses and doctors hold to be authoritative?

The wealth of material produced poses a serious practical burden for nurses, doctors and others who need to distil this information and to work out the importance of the report or study. This must be done in an increasingly busy and short-staffed NHS and in a COVID-19 care environment with all the challenges that brings.

Even before the pandemic the Care Quality Commission (CQC) highlighted problems with the rising tide of patient safety and health quality reports:

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