From bad to worse: “NHS medical accidents investigation unit ‘needed'”

Nick Triggle for BBC News 27th March 2015 reports: NHS medical accidents investigation unit ‘needed’

The result of rationing by prolonged undercapacity. Does the government feel medical accidents will be less after we have imported thousands of doctors and nurses from Eastern Europe, and many other cultures, and with language difficulties?

A national body to investigate medical accidents in England should be established immediately, MPs say.

The House of Commons Public Administration select committee said the service was needed because of the scale of the problems in the NHS.

The cross-party group of MPs said the current patient safety system was “too complicated” and “took too long”.

It comes just weeks after the government announced it was considering setting up such a service.

Ministers conceded such changes may be needed following publication of the Morecambe Bay hospital inquiry into baby deaths.

The report revealed that 11 babies and one mother had died unnecessarily at Cumbria’s Furness General Hospital, but the scandal had gone unchecked for years as patients fought to expose what was happening.

The committee said this and the Stafford Hospital scandal showed there should be no more delays.

It is estimated that there are 12,000 avoidable hospital deaths every year, and more than 10,000 serious incidents are reported to NHS England annually, including 338 “never events” such as surgery being carried out on the wrong part of the body.

Committee chairman Bernard Jenkin said for years it had been “evident that the NHS has urgent need of a simpler and more trusted system”.

“There needs to be investigative capacity so that facts and evidence can be established early, without the need to find blame, and regardless of whether a complaint has been raised.”

Currently responsibility for investigating patient safety is shared between the Care Quality Commission and Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman at a national level and local arrangements run by NHS trusts themselves.

Peter Walsh, of Action against Medical Accidents, said changes to the system were “much needed”.

The Department of Health said it would respond in “due course”.

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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