UK hospitals fail to comply with safety alerts


Following medical errors and patient safety issues, the United Kingdom’s National Patient Safety Agency issues national safety alerts so that hospitals can change their practices and avoid repeat occurrences. As The Daily Telegraph‘s Rebecca Smith reports, a patient advocacy group has found (28-page PDF) that two-thirds of UK hospitals have failed to meet the implementation deadline on at least one alert.

The group blames haphazard enforcement and monitoring for the lapses.

Action against Medical Accidents warned that despite repeated warnings that the alerts were not being complied with, there was no central policy or guidance on which organisation should be monitoring compliance and what action should be taken.

Smith focused on two particularly serious issues, the inappropriate administration of oxygen and injectable medicines. The report groups instances of noncompliance by hospital and by alert.

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Andrew Van Dam