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Medical Error

Medical Error thumbnail image
Reference number
Issue date01 August 2005

Each year about 850,000 patients in England are harmed, or nearly harmed, by their hospital care. It is believed that about half of these incidents could be prevented.


To help engender a patient safety first culture in the NHS, in 2005 the government launched ‘Modernising Medical Careers’ – a new training programme for doctors which puts patient safety at the heart of the curriculum.


Medical Error is a guidance booklet which supports Modernising Medical Careers by providing advice and guidance for junior doctors on preventing and reporting patient safety incidents. Topics covered include:


  • How to recognise unsafe clinical situations
  • The steps to take to reduce risks
  • How to learn from things that go wrong.


The booklet also offers guidance on how to report mistakes anonymously and online to the NPSA, gives examples of how senior doctors have made mistakes and how they learnt from them, and highlights six case studies of common medical errors, such as medication error and wrong diagnosis, and how to prevent them.

Medical Error
Medical Error - 1.02 MB 0240 | Medical Error | 2005-08 | v1