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Health Insight May 2001: Errors will be logged

  Chief Medical Officer Liam Donaldson has announced the creation of an independent body to run a national database in which will be recorded ‘failures, mistakes, errors, and near misses’ within the NHS. The National Patient Safety Agency is scheduled to start work on 1st July. Details of how the agency will work can be seen on www.doh.gov.uk/buildsafenhs.

Professor Donaldson made the announcement at the launch of a report, An Organisation with a Memory, from an expert group which examined how lessons can be learned from adverse events. The expert group has called for improvements in the way in which adverse events are defined, as well as handled. It has highlighted the variations in practices which exist across the country and given examples of good practice. The report may also be seen on the DoH website www.doh.gov.uk.

Sources: Health Service Journal 19 April, Press release (DoH)

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