Quality & Patient Safety

Wales: Mistakes or errors in hospitals claim the lives of 30 patients during six month span

Patient Safety Monitor: Global Edition, March 17, 2009

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) revealed new figures stating that during a recent six month span, more than 16,000 patient safety incidents have occurred across South Wales, according to Wales Online . This is in addition to the 30 patients who died because of mistakes made concerning their care, or as the result of accidents in the hospital.

Dr. Tony Jewell, Wales' chief medical officer says, "Mistakes will happen. However, by encouraging all National Health Service organizations in Wales to report every patient safety incident to the NPSA, we can learn from these errors and reduce the risk of these happening again."

NPSA also reported that Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust had 6,500 patient safety incidents in its hospitals and mental health services, which is the highest number of recorded incidents in a single NHS Trust in Wales. Even though three fourths of the incidents did not cause any harm to the patient, 99 patients suffered "severe harm", while another 11 patients died between April and September 2008.

According to Wales Online "the NPSA has issued guidance on issues of patient identification and medication errors, as these problems affect trusts nationally," says the chief executive of Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, Hugh Ross. "We have responded by setting up workgroups to review our practice and oversee implementation of the guidance in these areas."

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