Why are NHS trusts failing to act on advice from patient safety agency?
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The Guardian reported that Alerts are sent out by the National Patient Safety Agency after mistakes have come to light around the country. Some of them are very serious, such as the injection of a toxic chemotherapy drug called Vincristine into the spine rather than a vein. That mistake led to the death of 18-year-old Wayne Jowett in 2001.
The NPSA alerts trusts to the safety precautions that must be taken so that errors are not repeated. But the patient support organisation Action against Medical Accidents is warning that compliance with the alerts is partial â€“ and no trust has taken all the action required by the NPSA in the last year.
In all, 195 trusts about half had missed the deadline for at least one patient safety alert issued last year. Some have failed to comply in time with several alerts and 22 had not complied with five or more. Two trusts University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay and Whipps Cross in Leystonstone, London had not implemented nine alerts. "Timely implementation of these alerts is vital to save lives," said Walsh.
"Whilst there has been some progress, it is simply not acceptable that any patient should be left at unnecessary risk in this way. It is particularly worrying that there is not 100% compliance with even the most serious 'rapid response' alerts. We need to see action being taken over trusts who fail to comply by the deadline".
A Department of Health spokesman said the NHS had a 98% reported "completion rate" against patient safety alerts. "This is good news, but the NHS must do better. Unsafe care will not be tolerated. We expect all NHS trusts to comply with safety alerts, including recording what action has been taken, to minimise any risks in the future."
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