NHS negligence review: fifth of hospitals covering up negligence

A government review suggests that up to a fifth of hospital trusts in England may be covering up mistakes, with an analysis of reporting incidents showing that 29 out 141 trusts did not record the expected number of safety incidents. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has created the Sign Up to Safety campaign, which aims to halve ‘avoidable harm’ such as medication errors, blood clots and bedsores by 2016–17, while also stopping a third of preventable deaths, equivalent to 6,000 lives saved.

A recent case has highlighted the need for improvements within the NHS. Three-year-old Sam Moorish from Devon died in September 2010 from severe sepsis, following what the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman described as ‘a catalogue of errors’, with staff not recognising that he was vomiting blood and waiting three hours before administering antibiotics.

Sam’s father Scott Moorish said: ‘The thing that we’re still trying to push for is that we’re not clear who the ombudsman is accountable to, we’re not clear who really understands what happens behind the scenes there and we’re not entirely sure that Parliament is actually able to look at anything more than what comes out in the report.’ …

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