Former health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has set up a patient safety charity which will establish data he can use to report on levels of avoidable harm in healthcare.
The charity, Patient Safety Watch, will commission research from leading universities on the scale of patient harm, with the aim to create an agreed methodology that will allow trends in the level of harm in healthcare to be tracked over time.
Mr Hunt said he wanted to fill a gap in hard data on safety issues: "The bit of the jigsaw that is missing is the hard data on the number of avoidable deaths, avoidable harm, is it going up is it going down, and taking a view across the whole system," he said.
"We intend the remit of the charity to be a narrow one which is about establishing credible data around patient safety issues".
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Source: HSJ, 9 October 2019
Patient Safety Learning's response:
We welcome today's announcement by Jeremy Hunt MP that he is setting up a new charity, Patient Safety Watch. At Patient Safety Learning we are committed to providing an independent voice for improving patient safety and collaborating with healthcare organisations, charities and patients to drive system-wide change.
In our report, A Blueprint for Action, we set out the six foundations of safe care for patients and the practical actions needed to deliver these. Improved data and insight is one of these foundations and has a key role to play in helping to raise patient safety standards across health and social care. Highlighting examples of good practice and shortfalls in patient safety performance is needed not to blame, but to learn and improve. Patient Safety Watch's proposed focus on improving research and reporting into levels of patient safety incidents and avoidable harm in the NHS can play an important role in making the case for improvement and change. We look forward to working with Patient Safety Watch and on the actions needed to make the patient-safe future a reality.