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‘Burdensome’ patient safety inquiries taking up too much time, says NHSE chief

NHS England’s head of patient safety has suggested too much time and resource is being spent on “burdensome” inquiries to investigate failings in the system.

Aidan Fowler said national chiefs want to see a shift away from “looking back 10 years and asking ‘what did we miss’”, and instead wants teams to be resolving problems in real time.

At trusts where safety concerns have been highlighted, he said “people descend, and there are a lot of asks, and the pressure mounts, and they end up with an action list of hundreds of things, and it becomes very burdensome – we have to avoid that”.

Speaking at a session at the NHS Confederation Expo event in Manchester this week, he encouraged organisations to report concerns early so NHSE can respond more quickly, supporting them and working through problems to prevent public inquiries from needing to happen in the first place.

Mr Fowler added: “We have to get more proactive. We will spend less of our time in the future, is the plan, than we are now – doing what I call driving in the rear view mirror.

“We don’t want to be looking back 10 years and asking, ‘what did we miss’, we want to be seeing things in real time… we don’t want to be spending our time in big inquiries into failings in the system.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 14 June 2024


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