Hospitals to lose funds over fatal blunders

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The Government has confirmed plans not to fund hospitals who harm or kill patients as a result of blunders.

It has issued a list of 25 "never events", building on the eight listed in 2009, which included operating on the wrong part of the body and leaving a surgical instrument or swab inside a patient. Hospitals can have funding for patients withheld if a never event occurs.

The list now covers areas including the wrong route of administration of chemotherapy, death or injury resulting from the transfusion of the wrong blood type, and death by falls from unrestricted windows in hospitals.

The wrong implant, a wrongly prepared high-risk injectable drug, or maladministration of insulin are also included.

The NHS has a statutory requirement to report all serious patient safety incidents to regulatory bodies.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "Our ambition is to modernise the NHS so that people have the highest quality healthcare and live healthier, independent lives. Improving patient safety is central to this."

He said never events "will be enshrined in the NHS Standard Contract, meaning that payment from GPs or other commissioners will be withheld where care falls short of the acceptable standard".

Peter Walsh, chief executive of the charity Action against Medical Accidents, said he hoped the new list was "an indication of a more robust approach to tackling patient safety".

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