A report commissioned by Jeremy Hunt before he became Chancellor has highlighted how the pandemic ’stopped progress on patient safety in its tracks’ and called for more accurate data to be published on a range of measures.
The National State of Patient Safety was funded by Mr Hunt’s Patient Safety Watch charity and produced by Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation.
It highlights a rise in rates of MRSA and C. difficile since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, as well as an increase in deaths due to venous thromboembolism and hip fractures. The report said the pandemic had also exacerbated issues associated with staff wellbeing, claiming there had been “notable rises” in staff burnout and ill-health.
The researchers described problems with the breadth and accuracy of available patient safety data and highlighted that only 44% of trusts currently fulfilled the obligation to report their own estimated number of avoidable deaths.
Although the report added that “data on rates of avoidable deaths are not a panacea”, it described them as a “snapshot of safety and harm and are most usefully used to initiate further work to understand the causes of unwarranted variation”.
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Source: HSJ, 27 November 2022