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Revealed: Dozens of hospitals ignoring NHS safety warnings

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Dozens of hospital trusts have failed to act on alerts warning that patients could be harmed on its wards, The Independent newspaper has revealed.

Almost 50 NHS hospitals have missed key deadlines to make changes to keep patients safe – and now could face legal action. One hospital, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Foundation Trust, has an alert that is more than five years past its deadline date and has still not been resolved.

Now the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has warned it will be inspecting hospitals for their compliance with safety alerts and could take action against hospitals ignoring the deadlines.

National bodies issue safety alerts to hospitals after patient deaths and serious incidents where a solution has been identified and action needs to be taken. Despite the system operating for almost 20 years, the NHS continues to see patient deaths and injuries from known and avoidable mistakes.

NHS national director for safety Aidan Fowler has reorganised the system to send out fewer and simpler alerts with clear actions hospitals need to take, overseen by a new national committee. Last year the CQC made a recommendation to streamline and standardise safety alerts after it investigated why lessons were not being learnt.

Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of hospitals, said: “CQC fully supports the recent introduction of the new national patient safety alerts and we have committed to looking closely at how NHS trusts are implementing these safety alerts as part of our monitoring and inspection activity.”

He stressed: “Failure to take the actions required under these alerts could lead to CQC taking regulatory action.”

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Source: The Independent, 30 December 2019

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