latest health care news

26.11.12

Secret Scottish NHS incident reports released

Reports on serious incidents at hospitals in Scotland have been revealed, following a Freedom of Information request. 345 incidents were reported, including 105 deaths.

The BBC Scotland Investigation, “How Safe is Your Hospital?” found a huge variation between NHS boards in the numbers of incidents reported and what sorts of investigations are conducted. The Scottish Government is conducting a review of incident reporting on the NHS.

Deaths resulted from the administration of incorrect medicine and from fatal doses of drugs. One patient was “blown up” after being treated with oxygen and lighting a cigarette, whilst other incidents included missing equipment during a cardiac arrest.

Over the past three years the Scottish NHS has paid out over £120m in compensation and legal expenses. Research suggests about one in ten hospital admissions result in an “adverse event.”

Earlier this year, the health secretary ordered an investigation into NHS Ayrshire and Arran after the health board was severely criticised for withholding more than 50 reports on serious incidents at its hospitals and clinics.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said a national framework for the management of adverse events was being put in place. She said: “Scotland is the first country in the world to implement a national patient safety programme across the whole healthcare system and has some of the safest hospitals in the world.

“We need to support a culture of openness, trust and quality improvement, so that we can make sure that lessons are learned from these events.”

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