Information about patient deaths must be used in spirit of learning and shared good practice
14 December 2017
- Department of Health announces NHS in England will publish data on ‘avoidable deaths’
- Trusts will make individual assessments and publish data quarterly in a bid to share learning
- We say that is important the information is used constructively in the spirit of learning and sharing good practice
The Department of Health has announced that the NHS in England will become the first healthcare organisation in the world to publish data on ‘avoidable deaths’.
The data will be published each quarter by individual NHS trusts. Each trust will make its own assessment of the number of deaths. The data will not be comparable and will not be collated centrally.
The data will also allow trusts to learn from avoidable deaths, and share lessons across the NHS to better protect patients in the future.
Responding to the initiative on publishing information about patients’ deaths where problems in care may have been a factor, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:
“The health secretary has rightly made patient safety a priority.
“NHS trusts are always looking at how this can be improved, in order to provide the best possible care for patients.
“This is the first time any healthcare system has attempted this approach to learning from deaths in care.
It is encouraging to see that so many trusts are publishing information about deaths where problems in care may have been a factor, and actions taken in response.
“It is encouraging to see that so many trusts are publishing information about deaths where problems in care may have been a factor, and actions taken in response.
“Trusts are already finding that this approach can help to improve the way they engage with families and carers more openly and collaboratively. When this happens the experience, safety and quality of care is much better.
“It is important that the information is used constructively, in the spirit of learning and shared good practice, and not to construct league tables that would inevitably mislead and potentially alarm the public.”