UK Hospitals Accused of Burying Dozens of Patient Safety Reports

UK Hospitals Accused of Burying Dozens of Patient Safety Reports

UK hospitals have been accused of hiding nearly 100 secret reports written by expert doctors and investigating patient safety problems. BBC’s Panorama is to reveal on Wednesday that of the 111 ‘invited reviews’ requested from medical royal colleges by trusts, just 26 have been shared in full with NHS regulators such as the CQC. This is a clear breach of the NHS’ duty to disclose these reports to regulatory bodies. As well as this, only 16 reports have been published and placed into the public domain, leaving 95 unpublished and buried away.

As part of their investigation, Panorama issued FoI requests to every UK NHS trust and health board, obtaining previously hidden reports. 65 of these concerned potential or actual patient safety concerns. One review in 2015 by the Royal College of Physicians into Royal Liverpool Hospital’s care of patients with vasculitis. Of the 400 patients covered by the review, just a quarter were checked within 18 months. Of 26 patients who had received powerful medications for the condition, two were given them ‘inappropriately’, four received ‘possibly excessive’ doses and three died due to side effects.

Senior healthcare professionals, including the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals Professor Ted Baker, have called this news ‘extremely disappointing’, with Action Against Medical Accidents’ Peter Walsh calling for new legal duties to be put onto trusts to publish these reports.

More details can be found at or by watching Panorama: Hospital Secrets Uncovered on BBC One, this Wednesday at 7:30pm.


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