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Jeremy Hunt sets up new charity to improve patient safety and reduce levels of avoidable harm

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The former health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt has this week registered a new charity Patient Safety Watch which aims at collating data to help decrease the instances of poor care and improve overall patient safety within the NHS.

According to Mr Hunt there is currently a lack of “data on the number of avoidable deaths…[and] avoidable harm” within the NHS, which he hopes the new charity will rectify.

Patient Safety Watch has a clear aim; to collect as much data as possible to allow minsters and decision makers to make informed decisions. This new charity will commission university research and use the data collected to map trends, identify failings, and to then use that data to act accordingly.

The manner in which this data will be collated appears to be from research commissioned by universities, rather than directly from the Trusts.

What does it mean for patients?

The aim is to prevent avoidable injury which can only be encouraged. By collecting data on what went wrong, where it occurred and why, decision makers, in theory, should be able to take a better view of the whole system, to map and identify any problem areas. Spend and resources can then be focused to improve these areas.

By James Charters, graduate paralegal in the medical negligence department