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NPSA launch 'Patient Safety in Prisons' project

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) launched an investigation into improving prison safety today, with a project entitled ‘Patient Safety in Prisons’. It will be lead by an ‘Expert Working Group’ comprising of several key stakeholders, with expertise in the fields of offender health, developing national policy and regulating standards in prison healthcare, with the aim being to improve understanding of the particular risks to patients in prisons and to identify interventions to improve safety. The NPSA has collaborated with a number of professional organisations in order to improve patient safety in custody. The National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS), a division of the NPSA, was established to provide a national database of incidents relating to patient risks and harm. The NRLS aims to help the NHS improve the quality of patient care and level of patient safety by making risks more visible and driving national learning. As part of the initial stage of this project, the NPSA consulted a wide network of stakeholders across England and Wales on potential areas for safety improvement within prisons, and has analysed data on prison safety incidents from a number of sources: NPSA database on safety incidents; NHS Litigation Authority data; the Prisons & Probation Ombudsman’s investigations into deaths in custody. The Patient Safety in Prisons Project will identify local best practice and simple interventions aimed at improving patient safety. It will also test implementation in local regions or clusters of prisons, and then share the learning nationally. For further information, please contact Amar Shah, Clinical Advisor to the Medical Director at the NPSA (Amar.Shah@npsa.nhs.uk)

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