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More patients receiving harm free care from the NHS

Drop in patients experiencing pressure ulcers, falls, UTIs with a catheter, and VTEs

Ingrid Torjesen

Friday, 18 July 2014

The proportion of patients receiving 'Harm Free Care' has increased from 89.7 per cent in April 2012, when data was first recorded to 93.6 per cent in March 2014, according to data released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The data comes from the NHS Safety Thermometer tool, which was developed by the HSCIC to support patient safety. The tool uses the data submitted by organisations from monthly patient surveys to provide data to frontline teams to enable them monitor their performance on four harms: pressure ulcers, falls, urinary tract infections (UTIs) in patients with a catheter, and new venous thromboembolisms (VTEs).

Between April 2012 to March 2014 there has been a reduction in the number of patients recorded with each of the four harms. The percentage of patients recorded with a pressure ulcer reduced from 7 per cent in April 2012 to 4.6 per cent in March 2014. The percentage of patients recorded as having a fall which resulted in harm reduced from 1.3 per cent in April 2012 to 0.8 per cent in March 2014. In addition, the percentage of catheterised patients recorded as having a UTI reduced from 1.6 per cent in April 2012 to 0.8 per cent in March 2014, and the percentage of patients recorded with a new VTE reduced from 1 per cent in April 2012 to 0.5 per cent in March 2014.

HSCIC chair Kingsley Manning said: "The NHS Safety Thermometer covers a wide range of care settings across the NHS, from residential homes to hospital wards.

"It is encouraging to see that the percentage of patients recorded as receiving Harm Free Care has increased to nearly 94 per cent in 2014.

"As the number of providers who fill out this monthly survey increases, it is hoped that this will enable the NHS to have a more detailed picture of care provisions in order for them to monitor care and make further improvements."

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