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Patients Association - New Independent Patient Safety Investigation body 'will operate without fear or favour'

A new body to investigate clinical failure and incidents of patient harm in the NHS will “operate without fear or favour”, the government has said. 

A new investigation body, the Independent Patient Safety Investigation Service (IPSIS) is being created in response to the Morecambe Bay inquiry. The new service will involve selecting incidents to investigate and to ensure lessons from serious failures are learned and acted on across the NHS to improve patient safety. Events it will investigate include those involving high cost litigation, “never events”, and incidents such as medication errors and wider systemic failings. IPSIS will use expert led investigations and disseminate learning to other parts of the NHS.

The government states that “An important principle of this new service will be its ability to exercise independence and operate without fear or favour irrespective of its location in order to get to the bottom of any patient safety incident that it examines.” 

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association said:

“The Patients Association welcomes the creation of the investigation service, but there are concerns over how it might operate in practice. Our concern would be exactly how this body will be established and whether its independence will be guaranteed in legislation. It is also unclear what, if any, powers it will have to investigate NHS providers, or impose its recommendations upon them. However, if we want improvement, to promote learning from incidents and to improve and maintain effective patient safety, then a function like this is absolutely critical.”

Notes for Editors 

The Patients Association is an independent national health and social care charity established over 52 years ago, and has a long history of campaigning to ensure that the voice of patients is heard within the Health and Social care system.

For further information please contact the Patients Association on 020 8423 9111 alternatively you can call 07779 004898.

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