The BMA Cymru Wales blog has moved

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Reporting patient safety concerns will lead to better patient care

Today the NHS National Patient Safety Agency published the latest incident report for NHS organisations in Wales. The information is compiled from reports from frontline NHS staff and is published twice a year.

Today’s publication shows that 90% of all patient safety incidents result in no (67.9%) or low (22.1%) harm to the patient. That leaves 10% of reported incidents which are classed as moderate (8.2%), severe (1.4%), and contributing to death (0.4%).

The figures include incidents that did not result in any harm but had staff not identified it, could have done so. Overall the proportion of serious incidents has remained stable as reporting rates have increased. The most commonly reported incident type were patient accidents (36.4%).

Patient safety is a top priority for anyone working on the frontline in the NHS in Wales. That’s why the BMA is such a strong a supporter of the 1000 Lives Campaign and has worked so hard to continually improve patient safety, and therefore improve patient care. For us, the safety and quality agendas go hand in hand.

There is a lot of good work being undertaken in Wales to improve patient safety, and in representing the medical profession we are keen to see that develop and expand in the new NHS Wales. Earlier this year we published the Speaking up for Patients report - based on survey responses from 565 doctors working in hospitals in England and Wales.

Almost three quarters (74 %) said they had had concerns about issues relating to patient safety, malpractice or bullying, over the course of their NHS careers. Within this group, 73 % said their concerns had related to standards of patient care.

Seven in ten doctors (70 %) who had had a concern raised it with the relevant authority at their trust. However, many said that their experiences of reporting issues had been negative, for example because they were unaware that anything had happened as a result, they were not approached for further information, or the information they provided was shared more widely than they were comfortable with.

A significant proportion (15.5 %) of doctors who reported concerns said that their trusts had indicated that by speaking up, their employment could be negatively affected. Despite these experiences, around three quarters (74.5 %) said they would be prepared to report concerns again in future.

In the minority of cases where doctors had not raised their concerns, this was most commonly because they were not confident that it would make a difference (81%).

I think we can conclude from this that organisational support is absolutely paramount to improving patient safety across the NHS.

The information published today will be vital to the new LHBs in Wales when setting local priorities and identifying areas for action. LHBs and healthcare professionals will be able to compare patient safety performance (in like-for-like service areas) across Wales. To improve that performance, they must provide an open culture of organisational learning by ensuring that patient safety is a high priority, and by encouraging and facilitating incident reporting.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think? Leave your comment on this post.