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NHS Safety

Hospitals are failing to tackle “significant safety problems” which can cause death or disability, the NHS medical director Prof Sir Bruce Keogh has said in a revealing interview with Telegraph health editor Laura Donnelly.

Despite years of promises and various patient safety bodies (the latest being the Healthcare Safety Investigation branch) set up to address the issue many will be surprised to hear the NHS Medical Director say that ‘patients were being left in danger by the absence of any central NHS system ordering changes in medical practice on safety grounds’, and ‘patients were being left at risk of suffering needless harm – including amputations, devastating maternity complications and deaths – because of the lack of action to protect them’.

Sir Bruce’s assertion that safety recommendations should be made mandatory might seem obvious, but the fact that they are apparently not indicates that none of the bodies set up has had the necessary teeth to ensure changes in medical practice on safety grounds are made mandatory.