42,000 safety incidents at region's hospitals in a year

Sandwell | News | Published:

More than 42,000 NHS safety incidents were reported in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire and the Black Country in a year, new figures show.

Hospital trusts in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley reported the figures to the National Reporting and Learning System for the 2012/13 period.

Incidents involving the deaths of patients across the trusts accounted for 114 reports, while 253 suffered severe harm. Other incidents involving patients were classed as causing no, low or moderate harm. Hospital bosses today said lessons had been learned.

The number of incidents involving deaths reported by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust in the six months to April had more than doubled from figures released for April to September 2012 – rising from five to 12. But severe harm incidents remained at five for each period.

Gwen Nuttall, chief operating officer, said of the 12 deaths reported, two incidents were 'downgraded' and one incident related to a missed diagnosis. She added: "The Trust has implemented improved safety measures for the other three cases."

Figures for Mid Staffs NHS Foundation Trust showed 28 deaths and 23 severe harm cases reported from October last year to March, compared to 15 deaths and 43 severe harm cases in the previous six months.

Aaron Cummins, finance director at the Trust, said staff took the time to report any incident that may have the potential to cause harm to patients.

The Trust reported 2,344 incidents in April to September last year.

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust reported 15 deaths and 61 severe harm cases from April to September 2012, compared to seven deaths and 50 severe harm cases in the following six months.


Medical director Amir Khan said it signified a positive patient safety culture.

There were seven deaths and two severe harm cases reported by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust in the six months to April, compared to 12 deaths and 30 severe harm reports in the previous six months. However, incident reports rose from 5,195 to 5,445. Kam Dhami, Trust director of governance, said: "We are really pleased more incidents are being reported."

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust had 11 death reports and 30 severe harm cases in the first half of 2012/13, compared to two deaths and four severe harm reports in the second half, while incident reports overall rose from 4,049 to 4,735.

Chief executive Paula Clark said: "We take every incident seriously and encourage staff to err on the side of caution."

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