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Pharmacy staff are less concerned about prosecution when reporting patient safety incidents

Only 14% of pharmacy professionals are worried about criminal prosecution when reporting a patient safety incident, compared with 40% in 2016, survey results have showed.

The results of the 2019 ‘Patient safety culture survey’ of 917 pharmacy professionals, carried out by the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group (PSG) in April and May 2019 came after the introduction of a legal defence for dispensing errors in 2018.

The survey also showed that 22% of pharmacy professionals would not report a patient safety incident inside their organisation owing to fears of criminal prosecution. This is compared with 40% of 623 respondents saying in 2016 that they would not report a patient safety incident because of the possibility of criminal prosecution.

Janice Perkins, chair of the PSG, said the results “demonstrate that there have been significant positive improvements since 2016”.

“Nurturing an open and honest safety culture in community pharmacies is vital. It requires everyone to feel confident in openly sharing when things go wrong to learn from errors and prevent them occurring again,” she added.

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Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal. 19 December 2019


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