Between October 2011 and March 2012, latest data reveals that more than 700 patients died as a result of a patient safety incident.

According to the data collected by the National Reporting and Learning Service, 746 patients died and 3,188 suffered severe harm while receiving NHS care; this data excludes mental health services.

Over the same period in the previous financial year, this is down from 926 and 3,398, respectively; although some communities are no longer reporting incidents to the NRLS.

Slips, trips and falls, referred to as patient accidents seemed to be the biggest cause of inpatient harm in acute trusts which account for just over a quarter of incidents, followed by problems with treatment & procedures and medication errors.

Small acute hospitals or specialist acute hospitals have been pinpointed by data accumulated to be the places where patients are more likely to be harmed. They garnered an average of 7.5 and 8.4 patient safety incidents out of every 100 admissions respectively.

This is comparable to incidents of 6.5 at medium acute trusts, 6.2 at large acute trusts and 6.9 at acute teaching hospitals.

The number of deaths happening to patient safety incidents in mental health has doubled from year to year from 397 to 806. The reason for the increase is believed to have been the introduction of a new requirement: that is to make a report of suicides, or apparent suicides, as part of patient safety incidents.

The overall patient safety incidents found in mental health have increased from 84,763 to 105,288. The primary and biggest cause was patient accidents, second is self-harm and third is disruptive or aggressive behavior.

Survey made among the 27 standalone NHS community providers showed that the primary cause of incidents was also patient accidents, followed by implementation of care and ongoing monitoring & review. It also showed that around 3% of incidents happening in community providers were due to infrastructure factors, such as staffing, compared to 6.2% in acute settings and 2.2% in mental health.

The RNLS is now under the new NHS Commissioning Board. All incidents must be reported to the NRLS except those resulting in death or severe harm.

NHS Commissioning Board stated that a higher level of incidence happening in an organization does not mean that it is less safe but a sign of a good reporting culture.

Director of patient safety, Mike Durkin said that NHS organizations should use this data and review the tools, guidance and support available to them.

If you or a loved has suffered due to negligence you may wish to consult with experienced Injury Lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Please note strict deadline apply and it is in your best interest to contact an attorney immediate.

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