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Patient Safety Not Addressed by NHS

easy to get this information and that all major countries struggle with it. But without that knowledge, and the reasons behind it, improvement cannot take place.

"There is clearly room for improvement in compliance with standards on safety. And this goes for the independent sector, which needs to raise its game on this as well as the NHS."

According to Sir Ian safety in GP care also needed to improve, with some doctors not keeping records properly, misreading tests and failing to check patients' use of medication.

The report pointed out that between one in 10 patients can expect to experience a "patient safety incident" during a stay in hospital - anything from records going astray to suffering a fatal accident.

The report states: "It has been estimated that infections associated with care in hospitals affect nine per cent of patients in NHS hospitals each year. They cost the NHS approximately £1 billion and contribute to the deaths of approximately 5,000 patients."

Staff reported their concerns about inadequate systems that were in place for reporting incidents, with half of them saying that their trusts do not take action to prevent recurrence of errors, near misses or incidents. Patient safety problems were not addressed fairly according to some two-thirds of staff with one in 10 saying there was a "blame culture".

The report said that meals were taken away from patients before they are finished, and it noted a a "lack of sensitivity to the needs of older people from black and minority ethnic groups". It said, "Often these complaints are about a lack of compassion and attention from staff, such as leaving patients in obvious discomfort and not giving them enough privacy."

Jo Webber, deputy director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: "More than one million people are treated by the NHS every 36 hours and for the vast majority their treatment goes smoothly, as the Hea
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