Watchdog calls for improved patient safety

The Healthcare Commission has called for a drive to improve the safety of patients in the NHS and independent sector.

More patient safety required
The call to action focuses on drawing more attention towards services for people least able to look after themselves, including those with learning disabilities and mental health conditions. The Commission has emphasised that more should be done to ‘put patients first’ by ensuring that patients are treated with dignity and respect, and get better information about their care.

A four-pronged agenda for the next phase of improvements has been set out by the Commission:
  • Delivering consistently safe care.
  • Providing services in a more patient-centred way.
  • Reducing inequalities in health.
  • Tackling services for people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, older people and children.
The Commission has reinforced this message in its State of Healthcare Report to Parliament, which shows the most complete picture to date of healthcare in England and Wales.

Sir Ian Kennedy, the Commission’s Chairman, said: ‘There are real improvements to applaud and celebrate. These are having a genuine impact on people’s lives with many waiting less time for care and experiencing better treatment. The next step is to deal with the remaining ingrained problems, which are tougher nuts to crack.’

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