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Testing the temperature of patient safety in the NHS

11 July 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 13


John Tingle, Global Patient Safety Specialist, ECRI Institute, discusses several recent NHS reports which show the current state of patient safety in the NHS

In terms of transparency and accountability the NHS is excellent at producing insightful, well-produced reports on health quality and patient safety, which it does on a regular basis. It is an impossible task for nurses and doctors to keep up to date with all the materials published and maintain heavy workloads in resource-constrained environments. It is also hard for staff to know which reports to prioritise.

The NHS maintains numerous websites containing patient safety information because many NHS organisations have responsibilities in this area. Quality and patient safety permeate all aspects of NHS work. There is an urgent need, as I have said in previous columns, for the NHS to create a one-stop patient safety information hub, which would collect reports from all NHS and other important global sites, putting everything in one accessible place.

All nurses and doctors must demonstrate a reasonable personal patient safety updating regimen within their own clinical practice areas. The codes of professional conduct require reflective, safe, evidence-based practice and the common law of tort also demands this. It is the hallmark of being a profession that you keep up to date and informed about patient safety reports. One way to do this is to read the professional journals of your clinical specialty.

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