Eleven thousand patients a year may be dying as a result of NHS blunders amid a “blame game” culture between staff, health chiefs have warned.
A new safety strategy says thousands of lives may be being lost – with older patients most likely to fall victim – because errors are being repeated as medics “close ranks”.
NHS leaders will on Tuesday unveil plans to save 1,000 lives a year within five years, under a radical strategy to ensure all staff – however junior – are trained to act if they spot risks.
Officials will say that conservative estimates suggest that 11,000 lives a year may be being lost across the country, as a result of safety failings – at an annual cost of £1 billion.
Every hospital will be required to have a dedicated expert, who all nurses and doctors can approach, in a bid to prevent “cover ups” and stop tragedies being repeated.
And all staff – including cleaners and porters, as well as doctors and nurses, will be trained in how to respond to patient safety incidents, in order to ensure that risks are detected more quickly.
Dr Aidan Fowler, NHS director of patient safety, will urge the health service to embrace a “just culture” – ending a “blame game” where staff have too often closed ranks.