The UK Parliament’s Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) has published a report calling for a new national independent patient safety investigation body to be established in England.
According to the Secretary of State for Health, there are an estimated 12,000 avoidable hospital deaths every year, and more than 10,000 serious incidents are reported to NHS England annually. There were 338 recorded "never events" (such as wrong site surgery) in 2013-14 and NHS England received 174,872 written complaints. The NHS Litigation Authority’s latest estimate of clinical negligence liabilities is apparently £26.1 billion.
The huge numbers involved in the overall work of the NHS—15.8 million admissions to hospitals and 19.2 million A&E attendances in England the year to November 2014—put those figures in context, but PASC says that the overwhelming response received to its inquiry is an indication of the devastating impact of clinical failures when things do go wrong.