Patient safety website riles hospital trusts

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The use of old data causes outrage

A new patient safety website has already come under fire from trusts, criticising that the data advertised is out of date and doesn’t reflect their practices.

The government site, part of the Sign up to Safety Campaign, aims to showcase whether trusts have an open and honest reporting culture, to highlight patient safety incident reporting. The reporting metric uses five data points, including the reporting of patient safety incidents to the National Reporting and Learning System, and staff opinions about their own organisation’s effectiveness in this area.

The site uses a green, blue or red ranking system to rate trusts on whether they are good, ok or bad, however the Health Service Journal has discovered that the information provided only goes up to September last year, therefore doesn’t provide an accurate picture. A red rating would imply that a trust has failed against any one of the five criteria, which could include under reporting of death or severe harm.

Trust ranking worries

However the notion of reporting has come under skepticism, as high levels of reporting indicates a good reporting culture but low levels could demonstrate either a poor reporting culture or a trust that is performing well.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said “NHS England has assessed that 20% of trusts don’t have an open and honest reporting mechanism and we want to change that.”