01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Sign Up To Safety – Jeremy Hunt's push to reduce NHS mistakes

Sign Up To Safety – Jeremy Hunt’s push to reduce NHS mistakes



By , medical negligence expert and senior solicitor at Neil Hudgell Solicitors

Jeremy Hunt, the current Health Secretary, has urged NHS hospitals and trusts in England to put safety first, with a new initiative aiming to halve incidences of avoidable harm to patients, and save as many as 6,000 lives over the next three years.

“The fairest healthcare system in the world”

In an article published by the Department of Health on the 28th March, Mr. Hunt proudly described the NHS as “the fairest healthcare system in the world”, and expressed his hope that it will soon also be one of the safest, an ambition he is confident that all front line NHS staff must share.

The politician, who has been Health Secretary since 2012, launched his Sign Up To Safety initiative in the belief that improving the safety standards of the nation’s hospitals is not only a vital step forward in patient welfare, but also a means of streamlining and enhancing NHS services indirectly, by saving money that would otherwise be spent on longer hospital stays, further treatments and higher rates of re-admission.

High cost of preventable harm

Altogether, the NHS spends around £1.3 billion every year on litigation claims.

Hunt highlighted several “startling” payouts such as North Cumbria, which recently paid £3.6 million to just one individual, and Tameside, which paid out a total of £44 million in compensation to patients over just four years.

In a speech during his visit to Seattle’s Virginia Mason Hospital – widely regarded as one of the world’s safest hospitals – Mr. Hunt cited the example of Salford Royal, where it is estimated that £5 million per annum, and 25,000 bed days have been saved by the introduction of safer care.

Sign Up To Safety: A voluntary initiative

Sign Up To Safety is designed as a voluntary initiative, reliant on individual trusts identifying the number and nature of their mistakes, and coming up with plans to reduce them by at least half over the coming years. Mr. Hunt hopes that “avoidable harm” to patients, which most typically takes the form of medication errors, blood clots and bed sores, can be cut down to 50% of its current total by 2016/17, and anticipates this could eliminate a third of preventable deaths.

The push, while primarily aimed at hospitals, is also being marketed towards mental health trusts and those providing community services, in the hope of improving safety standards across the board. The trusts that take action will be rewarded with reduced premiums for insurance cover, helping them to streamline their budgets even further.

Alongside Sign Up To Safety, a number of other measures are being introduced, with the intention of improving overall safety standards and practices in the health service. Among these will be a ‘duty of candour’, which will compel the NHS to be open and honest with the public about mistakes committed by its staff. This was proposed in the aftermath of the Francis Inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal, where investigations uncovered “a culture of secrecy and defensiveness” that was seriously and constantly compromising patient safety and well-being.

5,000 safety champions

Mr. Hunt also announced that the NHS will be recruiting 5,000 safety champions, whose job it will be to identify areas of unsafe care at a local level, and developing solutions to address these. The safety champions will be supported by national team called Safety Action For England (SAFE), made up of doctors, managers and patient representatives, who will work together to improve safety levels.

There are also plans to launch a new section of the NHS Choices website this June, provisionally titled ‘How Safe Is My Hospital?’, which will enable patients to compare the relative safety of hospitals across a range of indicators.

Mixed reception

Hunt’s announcements were given a mixed reception. Peter Walsh, chief executive of the campaign group Action Against Medical Accidents and a long-term champion of patient safety, praised Hunt for his decisive leadership on the issue, and optimistically singled out the ‘duty of candour’ as “potentially the biggest advance in patients’ rights and patient safety since the creation of the NHS”.

However, Shadow Health Minister Jamie Reed criticized Hunt’s attitude towards streamlining spending, accusing the government of “failing to learn the lessons of the Francis Review”, and warning that over 50% of nurses consider their wards to be “dangerously understaffed”, and believe that patient safety is still getting worse.

It will remain to be seen whether Sign Up To Safety can halt the decline in patient safety in England’s hospitals, and whether, despite the reduction in staff numbers, along with other cuts, Jeremy Hunt can realize his ambition of making the NHS the safest health system in the world.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Simon Wilson

Senior Solicitor, Clinical Negligence

sw@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request A Callback

I am an existing client.










Or call us FREE on:

01482 778 463


trust pilottrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot star

The data you submit will only be used by Hudgell Solicitors and only for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry.
See full privacy policy.

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Recommended!

"Friendly, Helpful, and fair. Would recommend Hudgells to anyone I know."

Paul

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly professional service.

"Excellent service all way through."

Sakina begum

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Thrilled

"After not knowing what to do, hudgell have helped me thoroughly through the process and… "

Adam Shutt

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

helpful informative efficient and…

"helpful informative efficient and friendly these are all the qualities I found with the firm… "

Sharon Coultas

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

it took a long time but i definitely…

"it took a long time but i definitely got the result i wanted and deserved… "

Jan Mack

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very good efficient service

"Very good efficient service"

Amelia Jacobs

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service throughout my case

"Excellent service throughout my case Handled with ease and quickly"

Wayne Carter

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service in difficult…

"Excellent service in difficult circumstances Secured my compensation and won my case when other solicitors… "

Michael

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Fantastic team & Sarah :)

"Fantastic team and Sarah my Solicitor! Sarah has Handled everything for me, right up until… "

Sibel Sibel

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Third time lucky thanks to Hudgell!

"I had breast augmentation surgery three years ago for a complex assymetry case. I was… "

Bethanie Hawkins

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great customer service

"Great customer service Tasmin was very helpful Updated me on a regular basis Thanks for… "

Mr D Scannell

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Caroline was great in handling my case

"Caroline was great in handling my case, very informative and always kept me up to… "

Mr Richard Brook

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Dispute with EasyJet

"Although Hudgell offices were not local to us, there was no need for concern, as… "

Glyn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always on the ball

"Always on the ball! Great at what they do, very professional and fast with a… "

CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Very happy with result. Thank you."

Miss Erika Panakova

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Was an easy process and the caseworker…

"Was an easy process and the caseworker was very informative and very knowledgeable on my… "

Rachel Fee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Lovely business to deal with

"Lovely business to deal with. Would recommend to anyone."

Mrs Kelly Byrnes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great communication

"Great communication! My solicitor was lovely to deal with, open and listened to me."

Sue Ockendon

Rated 9.2 out of 10 based on 466 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU
DX 437 Chancery Lane

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU
DX 11923 Hull

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU
DX 744770 Leeds 19

VIEW DETAILS

Manchester

1 St Peter’s Square
Third Floor
Manchester
M2 3AE

 

VIEW DETAILS

© 2019 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90