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'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".

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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.

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