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From April 2020, hospitals in the UK will be required to have patient safety specialists to help reduce the thousands of incidents each year that injure patients.


This initiative aims to save 928 lives and the £98.5 million that patient accidents cost the NHS. The NHS has also set itself a target of reducing negligence claims by £750m by the year 2025.


Each year, over two million safety incidents are reported and 10,000 errors lead to patient harm or even death. Many of these accidents are caused by human failings, which the new safety specialists aim to identify and find ways to prevent.


The employment of safety specialists was a response to a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which looked at how mistakes could be prevented.


Professor Ted Baker, the CQC’s hospitals inspector, said that the NHS needed a culture change about safety, and has called for it to be a key part of how the organisation operates. He said:


“Too many people are being injured or suffering unnecessary harm because NHS staff are not supported by sufficient training.”


Hospitals, like many industries, have strict regulations about wearing protective workwear, but this may not help members of the public, customers and patients from being exposed to risks. Research in many industries has shown that accidents frequently occur because of human error, rather than due to equipment or PPE (personal protective equipment) failures. All workplaces should have practices that make it less likely that people make mistakes.

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