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Hospitals have 277 patient 'safety incidents' every day.

Byline: ALICE CACHIA @alicecachia

THERE are 277 patient safety incidents every day in Greater Manchester hospitals - including medication errors, patient accidents, and breaches of confidentiality.

A patient safety incident is classed as any unintended or unexpected incident that either did, or could have, harmed at least one patient receiving care.

The latest figures from NHS Improvement show that 50,194 such incidents were reported across hospital trusts in our area in the six months to March 2018.

Of these incidents, 52 involved deaths of patients, and 120 w e r e classed as "severe", meaning the patient suffered permanent or long-term harm.

The National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) collates all patient safety incidents and groups them into categories.

The figures show 6,835 of Greater Manchester's patient safety incidents were classed as a "Patient accident".

The NRLS says this includes having collisions with objects, having contact with "sharps" including needles or scalpels, exposure to cold and heat, and inappropriate patient handling or positioning.

Examples can include a patient in a radiography department sitting up and hitting their head on X-ray equipment, or a patient on the operating table having their arm rotated into an unnatural position, resulting in actual or potential nerve damage.

There were also 5,035 patient safety incidents relating to the implementation of care and ongoing monitoring. Examples of this type of incident could include a patient responding to another patient's name and receiving the other patient's treatment, failing to monitor a patient's oxygen saturation levels, and daily reviews not being written. A further 5,941 patient safety incidents were classed as "Access admission, transfer, discharge (including missing patient)" in the six months to March 2018 - which could include delays in accessing hospital care, sending patients home too early, and failing to refer patients to the correct speciality.

There were also 3,324 clinical assessment patient safety incidents recorded to the NRLS.

These could include failing to take a patient's blood pressure when displaying symptoms of a heart attack, or not assessing a patient's susceptibility to pressure sores or falls.

Aidan Fowler, National Director of Patient Safety at NHS Improvement, said: "All NHS staff should be supported to speak up when something goes wrong without fear of blame to ensure important action can be taken to improve safety."

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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:Feb 13, 2019
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