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The Daily Telegraph has published a letter from NHS England’s Director of Patient Safety, Dr Mike Durkin, in response to their article about how Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle addresses patient safety reporting.
The article describes how ten years ago, inspired by ways car workers in Japan were helped when they were struggling, the hospital started to encourage staff to report immediately anything which could potentially harm a patient, all without fear of repercussions.
Dr Durkin responds: “Our national incident reporting system is the most advanced of its kind and follows similar principles to Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, receiving more than 140,000 reports each month, with 68 per cent of incidents having caused no harm to the patient and 26 per cent low harm. These reports ensure incidents are addressed nationally and solutions are developed. They also inform our patient-safety alerting system, which makes staff aware of risks. The new Sign up to Safety campaign supports staff in speaking up when things go wrong, allowing us to learn as a whole.”