NHS patient safety concerns raised

Not all trusts fully complying with patient safety alerts
Not all trusts fully complying with patient safety alerts

By politics.co.uk staff

Only a third of NHS trusts are fully complying with patient safety alerts, campaigners has claimed.

Pressure group Action Against Medical Accidents (Avma) said a freedom of information request had shown only 37% had completed all patient safety alerts issued by the National Patient Safety Agency.

Sixty-three per cent had failed to comply with at least one alert, while 29 trusts had not complied with ten or more alerts.

The 'safer use of injectable medicines' alert, which was supposed to have been implemented by April 2008, had still not been complied with by 67 trusts, for example.

"There remains no coherent central policy or guidance on who should be monitoring compliance with patient safety alerts, or who should intervene with trusts who are not complying," the report noted.

"There remain serious weaknesses in the system which means that the situation is probably even more worrying than these figures suggest."

It pointed out primary care contractors, including GPs, do not have to indicate if they have implemented actions and said the system was "reliant on self-declaration".

The Department of Health wrote to trusts earlier this year, in response to an earlier Avma report, insisting that all patient safety alerts be fully implemented.

Health minister Anne Milton said after today's report: "Across the NHS there must be a culture of patient safety above all else. We expect all NHS trusts to comply, in order to minimise any risks in the future."


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