New investigations body launches
The new Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) which launched in October has pledged that any testimony given to it by doctors, nurses or other medical staff will not be passed on to other agencies such as the police or the General Medical Council unless a High Court rules this necessary. The body will be led by Dr Ted Baker (chair) and Dr Rosie Benneyworth (interim chief executive officer, pictured) and replaces the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, which was formed in 2017. It will conduct major safety investigations into the most serious risks to NHS patients in England using ‘safe space’ to encourage patients, families, NHS staff and other participants to contribute to investigations fully and candidly to learn when things go wrong. The HSSIB team will investigate up to 30 serious safety incidents a year in the NHS in England.
Law on valproate packaging changed
Following work by the Patient Safety Commissioner, the Human Medicines Regulations Action 2012 has been changed and safety warnings will be provided with every valproate-containing medicine. This means these medicines will be dispensed in the original full pack with the relevant warnings about the risk to pregnant women.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued new guidance for dispensers to support this change.
Human factors in surgery
Human factors, psychological safety, leadership, and civility all need to be embraced by the surgical community to achieve reliable health care, according to a new study – Arulampalam T, Barach P. Human factors in surgery: optimal surgical team proficiency and decision making. Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 2023; 105:128–133.
MHRA seeks patient experts
The MHRA is looking for patient experts to help develop a new regulatory pathway, the Innovative Devices Access Pathway (IDAP). The aim is to allow manufacturers to provide their innovative medical devices to healthcare professionals and patients at the earliest opportunity.
Patient experts would join the selection panel to determine which innovative medical devices are shortlisted to enter the pathway as part of the pilot. The role description is at Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (filecamp.com) and the deadline for expression of interests is noon on Wednesday, 11 October. To learn more about the pathway, there is a webinar and information session on Monday, 2 October, at 13.30 pm. Register at the Eventbrite page before noon on Friday 29th September.
Medication timing matters
Every minute counts when it comes to the timing of medicine – that’s the message from a new report by Parkinson’s UK, endorsed by a range of charities and royal colleges. Patients with health conditions must receive their medication on time when they are in hospital says the report ‘Every minute counts’. It reveals that only 42% of people with Parkinson’s received their medication on time, every time when admitted to hospital in England last year.
Parkinson’s UK is calling for self-administration of medicines policies in every hospital across each ward where safe to do so; a boost the rollout of e-prescribing in hospitals; and training for all hospital ward staff responsible for prescribing and administrating medicine to ensure people reliant on time critical medication get it on time, every time.
PSC responds to reports on patient safety
What do the three latest reports on patient safety have in common? Recommendations in the reports from NHS England’s practical guide, AQUA (an improvement agency that works for NHSE), and Patient Safety Learning (PSL) on ICSs have many shared areas of focus including leadership, culture and patient engagement.
Resource for patients on pelvic mesh
A new resource for patients to help GPs identify the complications of pelvic mesh has been issued by the Patient Safety Commissioner. Developed in partnership with campaign groups Sling the Mesh and the Rectopexy mesh victims and support, the resource is a letter that patients can take to their GP. It explains signs and symptoms of women presenting with pelvic mesh-related conditions and if required, where to signpost them for further help. Pictured is an example of pelvic mesh on show at the Surgeons’ Hall Wohl Pathology museum in Edinburgh.
CQC sets out new engagement strategy
The Care Quality Commissioner (CQC) has published a new strategy for how we’ll engage with people and with organisations that represent people. It sets out how the CQC will listen, inform, and involve people and work in partnership with the organisations that represent people.