Britain to report deaths in NHS hospitals due to failings in care

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-14 21:31:09|Editor: Zhou Xin
Video PlayerClose

LONDON, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Britain will begin to periodically report the number of deaths in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals due to failings in care, according to a report Thursday.

The announced was made by the Department of Health (DoH) following a promise by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. It came after a report in 2016 by the watchdog body, the Care Quality Commission, that found that the NHS was missing opportunities to learn from patient deaths, and that too many families were not being included or listened to when an investigation happened.

The data will be published every three months by individual trusts, with 171 of the 223 trusts in England already releasing their first estimates by the end of this month.

It is estimated that up to 9,000 people a year die in NHS hospitals due to insufficient care.

A spokesman for the DoH said: "Each trust will make its own assessment of the number of deaths due to problems in care. The data will not be comparable and will not be collated centrally. This will allow trusts to focus on learning from mistakes and sharing lessons across their organizations and their local healthcare systems."

Health Secretary Hunt said: "Too often I have heard from families saying that after mistakes happen they feel like a wall has gone up in the NHS, but publishing this data will help give grieving families the openness and answers they deserve. It marks a significant milestone in ensuring the NHS learns from every tragic case, sharing lessons across the whole system to prevent mistakes recurring and ultimately delivering safer care for all patients in the future."

The DoH says the program is likely to cover between 1,250 and 9,000 deaths, which research suggests is the number of deaths each year that may be down to problems in care. This represents a fraction of the 19.7 million treatments and procedures carried out by the NHS in the past 12 months.

The deaths range from rare but high-profile failings in care, to those which involve terminally ill patients who die earlier than expected.

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust recently held its first memorial service for those who have died in its care.