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Watchdog says its lack of funding is compromising safety


The patient safety commissioner has complained to MPs that she does not have enough staff to cope with her ‘significant workload’, it has emerged.

Henrietta Hughes’ concerns are revealed in a letter from Commons health and social care committee chair Steve Brine to health and social care secretary Steve Barclay.

Mr Brine asks for assurances over the commissioner’s resources and says he was “concerned” Dr Hughes had told him her current funding was “too little to make the necessary improvements” to safety oversight.

Mr Brine wrote on 6 March: “I am in regular contact with Dr Hughes and the matter of resources for her office is something that she has raised with me. She tells me that her office is under extreme pressure, with a significant workload, including correspondence from patients.”

Mr Brine told Mr Barclay he shared Dr Hughes’ concerns that without “sufficient resourcing” there was a risk that the safety commissioner role would – according to Dr Hughes – “let down the hopes of patients that were raised by the publication of Baroness Cumberlege’s report”.

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Source: HSJ, 14 March 2023

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