'Silent scandal of errors' in NHS

Around 3,000 patients died needlessly last year as a result of poor care, the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will say later today as he calls on the health service to tackle the "silent scandal of errors".

Patients should know 'where the buck stops'

Jeremy Hunt will call on the health service to tackle the "silent scandal of errors". Credit: PA Wire

Jeremy Hunt will call for the NHS to become the first healthcare system in the world to publish information on the likelihood of a harm-free patient experience across every hospital in the country.

The Health Secretary will also set out proposals that mean the days when the name of the responsible doctor and responsible nurse were clearly written above every bed in every hospital so patients know "where the buck stops".

Preventable harm to patients is 'unacceptable'

We are clear: any preventable harm to patients is unacceptable. However rare these incidents are, never should mean never and avoiding such errors should be the priority of every surgeon.

The Royal College of Surgeons, alongside NHS England, is currently running a 'never events' in surgery survey to find out what can be done better and to help us put an end to such errors.

– Norman Williams, president of the Royal College of Surgeons

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Eight patients 'die needlessly every single day'

Health officials said the NHS tops the International Commonwealth Fund comparison on patient safety, beating France, Germany, Sweden, Norway and the US.

The health service sees nearly three million people every week and around 0.4% of those appointments ended up with incidents of harm while 0.003% ended with a person's death.

This is a tiny proportion of the total number of people treated. But even those figures amount to nearly half a million people harmed unnecessarily every year.

And 3,000 people who lost their lives last year - not despite our best efforts, but because of failures in our efforts. That's more than eight patients dying needlessly every single day in our wards and operating theatres.

Hunt calls on NHS to tackle 'silent scandal of errors'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will call on the health service to tackle the "silent scandal of errors". Credit: PA Wire

Around 3,000 patients died needlessly last year as a result of poor care, Jeremy Hunt will say later as he calls on the health service to tackle the "silent scandal of errors".

The Health Secretary will confirm that nearly 500,000 people were also harmed unnecessarily while the NHS also recorded 326 "never events" - incidents so unacceptable that they should never happen - in just 12 months.

In a speech at University College London Hospitals, Mr Hunt will suggest the UK has become "so numbed to the inevitability of patient harm that we accept the unacceptable" and call for a change in culture that means errors and injuries from care are constantly revealed and reduced.