Patient safety fears raised at hospitals

THOUSANDS of incidents concerning patient safety were recorded in Norfolk and Suffolk trusts and hospitals in the space of six months, it has been revealed.

THOUSANDS of incidents concerning patient safety were recorded in Norfolk and Suffolk trusts and hospitals in the space of six months, it has been revealed.

And the Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Trust was placed in the top 10 of mental health organisations nationally for the number of reports.

But health watchdog the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) said the upward trend in the recording of incidents, including patient self-harm, suicides and premature baby deaths as well as mistakes by staff and accidents, was to be welcomed.

The NPSA has published the data relating to April to September last year.


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More than 72pc of 1,572 incidents in Norfolk and Waveney resulted in no harm to the patient, compared to more than 65pc nationally.

Martin Fletcher, chief executive of the NPSA, said: 'We believe that an organisation with a high reporting rate is much more likely to have a strong commitment to patient safety and high safety standards.'

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Figures from the mental health trust show one death after a patient was run over by a bus in September after being seen at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. This incident was also recorded by the N&N as part of its figures. Four serious harm incidents involved three patients self harming and one fall.

The mental health trust also had the highest number of prescription error reports of all mental health trusts, but it said most other trusts did not have a pharmacy and it was introducing a new electronic system.

Medical director Hadrian Ball said: 'The trust takes the issue of patient safety very seriously and fully supports a no-blame culture of reporting to the NPSA to ensure that any problems are identified as soon as they occur.'

At the James Paget University Hospital 1,206 patient safety incidents were reported.

Nick Coveney, director of nursing and patient care, said: 'The report shows that we have an above average level of reporting to the NPSA which demonstrates our strong patient safety and learning culture.'

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