Call for More Transparency in Patient Safety Incidents

4 September 2020

Medical Negligence Solicitors have today called new data which revealed that there were 21 “wholly preventable” patient safety incidents of the most serious category at private hospitals last year ‘deeply concerning’.

The report* published by the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) includes the first ever published figures on Never Events in private hospitals between 1 January and 31 December 2019.

The data, taken as part of the year-long audit, came from 287 out of 595 private hospitals and NHS private patient units (PPU). Of those who did not provide data, NHS PPUs were in the majority. 

Geoffrey Simpson-Scott, Head of Medical Negligence at law firm Simpson Millar said, “The publishing of this data from private hospitals and NHS funded private patient units provides, for the first time, some degree of clarity and transparency on the number of never events occurring within the sector. That in itself is a welcome step in the right direction. 

“However, what is deeply concerning is that there is still not full transparency across the board which may mean some patients and their families remain unaware of the full extent of incidents occurring.

“Furthermore, the volume of Never Events is worrying. They are by their very nature, errors in patient care that simply should never happen when reasonable skill is exercised. They do not occur by accident.

“We would now welcome a full and independent investigation into the nature of these Never Events and what can be done to make sure incidents like these don’t occur in the future. 

“Only then will members of the public have the reassurance that this matter is being taken seriously.”

*The PHIN report.

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