Radio: NHS trusts ‘not complying with safety alerts’

BBC Radio 4, File on Four, Tuesday 16 February, 8-8.40pm, repeated 5-5.40pm, Sunday 21 February 2010, available after broadcast via the iPlayer or as a podcast.

From the BBC website: “Three-quarters of NHS trusts are endangering patients by not complying with safety alerts meant to stop fatal errors recurring, a charity says. Action Against Medical Accidents found that some 300 trusts had not complied with at least one patient safety alert despite the deadline passing. AvMA’s Chief Executive Peter Walsh said: “Lives are being put at risk.” The Department of Health said it expected all trusts to comply with the alerts and to “record and action them”. It added: “The department will shortly be issuing all NHS organisations a formal reminder of their obligations to do this.”

Under the patient safety alert system, the National Patient Safety Agency can issue guidance to NHS organisations to tighten procedures by a set time. But AvMA said that robust compliance systems were lacking in many hospitals in England. Figures obtained by the charity via freedom of information requests revealed that 200 trusts had not complied with an alert dating back five years.”

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