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A Safer Place for Patients: learning to improve patient safety

“Reducing unintentional harm to patients in NHS hospitals is a central tenet in the management of healthcare quality and risk. Two factors are crucial to this: the establishment of a culture in which incidents can be reported easily, honestly and without fear of blame; and the ability to ensure that lessons learned from these incidents are successfully promulgated to NHS staff both locally and nationally. What today’s report shows is that the Department of Health and the NHS have made some progress in both of these areas – but not enough.
“There needs to be significantly faster progress at the national level in ensuring effective evaluation of numbers, types and causes of incidents. And lessons and solutions must be better evaluated and shared by all organisations with a role in keeping patients safe.”

3 Nov 2005

A Safer Place to Work: Improving the management of health and safety risks to staff in NHS trusts

More needs to be done to reduce the number of staff accidents in NHS trusts. Good progress has been made through the initiatives such as the Back in Work campaign but too many trusts are still not implementing good practice and there are wide variations in terms of access to counselling and other support to get staff back to work more quickly. At a time when it is crucial to recruit and retain staff, the NHS must show that the health and safety of its staff is a top priority.”

30 Apr 2003

A Safer Place to Work: Protecting NHS Hospital and Ambulance Staff from Violence and Aggression

“It is unacceptable that the very people who are trying to help the sick and injured are themselves subject to violence and aggression on a daily basis. Apart from the immediate impact on the individuals concerned, the experience or threat of violence causes increased stress and sickness absence, lowers staff morale and drives individuals out of the health sector at a time of serious staff shortages. Good progress has been made through the zero tolerance zone campaign, but the NHS needs to demonstrate clear improvement across Trusts in incident follow up, staff training and partnerships with other public agencies.”

27 Mar 2003

A second progress update on the administration of the Single Payment Scheme by the Rural Payments Agency

“This is the third time we have looked at the Single Payment Scheme and there are still significant issues to be resolved. There has been a serious lack of attention to the protection of taxpayers’ interests over the administration of the scheme.  There has been a lack of senior management ownership of the scheme in the Agency and DEFRA, even though the risks were previously highlighted by the Committee of Public Accounts.


“Previous assurances on overall progress in recovering overpayments from farmers proved optimistic and reflect a lack of reliable information on actual progress.  DEFRA should urgently address the risks to ongoing IT system support and the inaccuracy of the scheme’s data, explore alternative payment systems and resolve the ongoing management issues.”


15 Oct 2009