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“Wales already has more comprehensive patient safety procedures in place than those planned for England” – Mark Drakeford

Measures to improve patient safety in Wales are more comprehensive than those planned for England, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford has said.

The Minister spoke after England’s Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, outlined plans to reduce the number of avoidable deaths in English hospitals. An annual review of 2,000 cases of patients who later died would be carried out, which is less than 1% of the 250,000 deaths in hospitals in England each year.

In Wales, all deaths in acute hospitals are reviewed using a standard set of questions – the first stage of the case note mortality review process. The purpose of the two-stage process is to determine whether people receive good quality care towards the end of their lives. Cases where issues of sub-optimal care are identified are subjected to a more in-depth investigation, which helps to identify areas for improvement, both locally and nationally.

The Palmer review of mortality data, which also investigated high mortality rates at six Welsh hospitals last year, concluded the case note review system, pioneered in Wales, provides a better, more robust way of assessing the safety and quality of care provided in hospitals.

Professor Drakeford said:

“I’m pleased to see that the Secretary of State for Health in England appears to be following the example set by NHS Wales on patient safety.

“In Wales, the NHS is screening all deaths, not sampling a tiny proportion.

“Mortality information has been a key component of quality improvement in NHS Wales for almost a decade.

“NHS Wales places quality at the centre of our system. Wales was at the forefront of transparent quality improvement, visible in the “Saving 1000 lives” campaign, launched in April 2008, designed precisely to do that.”

The 1000 Lives campaign estimated that 1,199 additional lives had been saved by improvements made by NHS staff in Wales between April 2008 and April 2010.

The work to improve quality and safety of care in NHS Wales continues to be led by 1,000 Lives Improvement which supports organisations and individuals as a national quality improvement network to deliver the highest quality and safest healthcare for the people of Wales.


Channel website: http://gov.wales

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