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How to save 730m a year – PR Week Post #36

May 24, 2010

(Click here for the original post on PR Week)

OK, it is not going to make a massive dent in today’s ‘lower than forecast’ national debt of £156bn, but how about those in the NHS responsible for the 406 ‘Serious Untoward Incidents’ recorded last year realised they were costing the nation about £2m a day in compensation?  We are all faced with cuts and savings so how about we stop chucking money away as well?

These incidents include surgical error, dispensing wrong medicines (or in the wrong doses) and failure in equipment and supposedly, are only the tip of the iceberg. In an interview by Victoria Fletcher at the Express, Joyce Robins, co-director of Patient Concern, said: “The Department of Health admits there is a culture of denial in the NHS and that many ‘untoward incidents’ are never reported.”

The article concludes: “According to the National Patient Safety Agency around 4,000 patients in England died last year following safety incidents and a further 7,500 suffered severe harm”.

Aren’t you glad the NHS budget is £104bn a year?  At least we are able to pay people good money to make sure these mistakes happen. Just remember, last year, an NHS chief executive of a Foundation Trust took home an average salary of about £157,000.  Where’s the accountability?