Posted by Sophie Angwin-Thornes, Associate
New NHS patient safety system a step in the right direction
Sophie Angwin-Thornes takes a look at the new patient safety system in the NHS that could help make the reporting and analysis of patient safety events easier and more effective.
The NHS has taken a reassuring step in the right direction to improving patient safety with the development of a new national NHS Learn From Patient Safety Events service (LFPSE). This system is in its final stages of development and a significant milestone has been reached this week in this colossal IT project, with the system now going ‘live’ into some NHS organisations.
How the system will help
This new system has been designed for all health and social care providers to help with the recording and analysis of patient safety events that occur. This is not the first new system launched by the NHS for this purpose in the last decade, but it is hoped that this one will offer better functionality and features to improve patient safety nationally.
It appears from the NHS’s news release that this new system has utilised modern technology to ensure that the national system for reporting patient safety events is fit for now and the future and can genuinely facilitate learning and improvement.
Some key features of the new system include advances in data capture on a national level and giving NHS organisations better access to that data. One of the aims is to ensure new or under-reported safety issues can be brought into focus quickly, and action taken by NHS organisations. To some extent, it might be alarming to read that such systems aren’t already in place but at least tangible progress is being made!
Patient safety must remain the focus
In the wake of the recent and shocking Panorama investigation that revealed serious patient safety issues, it is encouraging to see real pace and commitment to improving patient safety through a new reporting system.
I watched the BBC Panorama broadcast in horror as it was made clear that NHS Trusts were burying patient safety reports they themselves had commissioned. These reports were not published or shared nationally which left us all questioning how this was allowed to happen.
The delivery of this IT platform, whilst enormously overdue, will not be the golden ticket to ensuring patient safety issues do not occur, or are appropriately reported. However, I hope that this new safety system will operate as a key building block in the much needed overhaul of patient safety in the NHS. As a Clinical Negligence Solicitor and I consider myself passionate about patient safety and will continue to follow closely the commitments made by the NHS and any improvements implemented in this field.
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