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1 in 5 patients suffer avoidable harm whilst in hospital

Published on 31/08/2012

In some NHS trusts more than 20 per cent of patients suffer avoidable accidents, health complications or mistakes whilst in hospital.

According to a report by The Telegraph, NHS officials have admitted that around 200,000 patients in the NHS suffer common avoidable problems over the course of the year.

Recent data, collected by NHS Safety Thermometer from all NHS hospitals, looked at problems such as bed sores and patient falls that could have been avoided with good care.

Whilst the survey showed an overall figure of 91 per cent harm free care, this masks wide variations in individual hospitals according to the newspaper.

Apparently in three hospital trusts more than one in five patients suffered from avoidable accidents, complications or mistakes between April and July 2012.

At Torbay and Southern Devon and Care Trust 23.5 per cent of patients were harmed whilst receiving health care. At City Hospitals Sunderland Foundation Trust 23.1 per cent were harmed, and at Airedale Foundation Trust 20.5 per cent.

The Department of Health has set a target to deliver ‘harm-free’ care to 95 per cent of patients, but only 24 trusts actually met this target.

Nationally around 41,000 people were harmed. Hospital wards were found to have lower rates of harm in all areas except urinary infections and blood clots, whilst community hospital patients have a much higher rate of overall harm.

Jacqui Fletcher, fellow of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and tissue viability nurse, said the overall figure of 91 per cent harm free was “better than expected”.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: "Safe care is at the heart of a modern NHS. That is why we are introducing the Safety Thermometer across the NHS - so that hospitals can see where they need to improve and take action.”

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
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