NHS in England told to reveal avoidable deaths data

Hospital Interior Blurredsource: BBC News
published: 14 December 2017

The NHS in England is to become the first healthcare system in the world to publish figures on avoidable patient deaths, the health secretary has said.

By the end of 2017, some 170 out of 223 trusts will publish data on deaths they believe could have been prevented. It is estimated there are up to 9,000 deaths in hospitals each year caused by failings in NHS care.

The Department for Health said it wanted to ensure the NHS learned lessons from every case. There is no standard definition of an avoidable death and each hospital trust makes its own judgment.

The data released by the organisations will include details of reviews and investigations into deaths, and information on any action taken as a result.

As part of the release from more than three quarters of England’s trusts, families of patients will also be given full explanations over relatives’ deaths.

These explanations, the department says, will be used to support bereaved relatives and carers, and will ensure they are treated with empathy, compassion and respect.

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