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Keep up to date with the latest news, research and activity in patient safety


Government lukewarm on NHS plan to cut covid death risk

Health leaders have called for the routine recording of ethnicity and faith during the registration of deaths to help fight COVID-19, but the government appears to have rejected the idea.

Leaders at West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, the second largest integrated care system in England, wrote to registrar general Abi Tierney last month and said the lack of routine collection and analysis of this data “means there is a structural barrier to understanding of inequalities in mortality”.

The Home Office replied and said it is considering “a range of reliable and proportionate ways to collect the necessary information”. But HSJ understands the Home Office has indicated no immediate action will be taken on the issue.

The letter said: “This absence has undoubtedly led to delays in identifying the inequalities of COVID-19 mortality and means that we remain unclear about the disparities in deaths outside of hospital. These delays have risked contributing to further loss of life in our places in recent weeks, as we have not had robust data to enable us to address impacts at sufficient pace as we have been dealing with this crisis.”

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Source: HSJ, 8 July 2020

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Cumberlege inquiry: We must not allow this seminal report to gather dust on a shelf, Jeremy Hunt says

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned ministers not to let the Cumberlege review “gather dust on a shelf”.

The chair of the Commons Health and Social Care Committee told The Independent it was vital action was taken to implement the recommendations.

Mr Hunt, who made patient safety a key focus of his tenure as health secretary, backed the idea of an independent patient safety commissioner that would be outside the NHS and have powers to advocate for patient issues.

Mr Hunt said: “This report should be a powerful wake-up call that our healthcare system is still too closed, defensive and focused on blame rather than learning lessons. It’s truly harrowing to hear of all the women and families who live with permanent anguish because of these medicines and devices, and it has clearly taken too long for their voices to be heard.”

“The NHS is one of the safest health systems in the world, and we’re all rightly in awe of our frontline heroes. But in healthcare getting it right ‘most’ times isn’t good enough because the exceptions wreak lifelong devastation on families. So we must not allow this seminal report to gather dust on a shelf: lessons must be learnt once and for all.”

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Source: The Independent, 8 July 2020

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