Patient Safety Incidents Highest in Country

THE hospital Trust in Comet country has reported more patient safety incidents than any other large acute Trust in the country, figures released on Friday have revealed. But bosses at The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister Hospital

THE hospital Trust in Comet country has reported more patient safety incidents than any other large acute Trust in the country, figures released on Friday have revealed.

But bosses at The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister Hospital in Stevenage, say higher reporting rates point to a strong patient safety culture.

Figures published by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) show the Trust reported an average of 11.08 incidents per 100 admissions between April and September last year, more than twice the national average of 4.75 per 100 admissions across 44 similar Trusts.

Of the 4,983 incidents reported by the Trust during this six month period, 89.8 per cent resulted in no harm to patients, 9.9 per cent resulted in low harm, and less than 0.5 per cent involved moderate to severe harm.

This compares to a national average of 66 per cent of incidents reported as no harm and just over one per cent as severe harm or death.

The Trust's most commonly reported incident was patient accidents, including falls, and at 23 per cent was more than 10 per cent lower than the national average for NHS Trusts of a similar size.

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Incidents surrounding treatment or procedures were the second most commonly reported, at 13.6 per cent, with medication the reason behind 11.2 per cent of reported incidents.

The Trust's chief executive, Nick Carver, said: "Data like this can be hard for some to understand, especially those who intuitively equate high reporting levels with greater risk.

"In fact the opposite is true - research now shows that those NHS Trusts that report the most incidents are also most likely to have a culture within their organisation that seeks to improve patient safety through openness, sharing and learning."

The NPSA says: "Trusts that report incidents regularly suggest a stronger organisational culture of safety. They take incidents seriously and link reporting with learning.

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