The NHS and patient safety

5 Feb

Sir Liam Donaldson told us last week in a lecture on patient safety that 1 in 300 patients admitted to a NHS hospital die a preventable death every year. For such a rich and developed country, 1 in 300 is unnecessarily high and reflects pretty poorly on the current NHS. Although this great British institution is a great achievement, it also screams of inefficiency and unsustainable practice that threaten to shorten its days as we know it. The warning bells for the NHS have been ringing for quite some time, and a systems wide change is desperately needed. Will the reforms (due in April) improve the NHS? I don’t think it should be discounted, despite the vast opposition to it, but the stress of implementing such a fundamental change to a complex health system short on funds is unlikely to show immediate results. Nevertheless, I’m inclined to remain hopeful (should that be naive?): opposing change is no use when it’s already happening around you.


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