- New research commissioned by the Department for Health and Social Care shows that medication errors may cause around 1,700 deaths a year in the NHS, and could even contribute to up to 22,000 deaths each year.
- To combat this, we are introducing ground breaking new safety measures. These include new systems linking prescribing data in primary care to hospital admissions so the NHS can see if a prescription was the likely cause of a patient being admitted to hospital.
- We will also introduce new defences for pharmacists if they make accidental medication errors. This will prevent them from being prosecuted for genuine mistakes as is the case currently. This will ensure the NHS learns from its mistakes and builds a culture of openness and transparency.
- We are accelerating the introduction of electronic-prescribing systems across more NHS hospitals this year – this could reduce errors by up to 50 per cent.

It is a matter of great pride that our NHS is a world class healthcare system, and we should always keep striving to improve it. It is so important that when you or your family use the NHS you know that you can be confident that you are in safe hands. These measures will make sure that everyone can have peace of mind, and ensure that our NHS is the safest healthcare system in the world.

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