In the wake of the Cumberlege review, Richard Armstrong discusses why information gathering alone will never deliver patient safety
The Cumberlege review into serious safety failures in healthcare, relating to medicines and medical devices, highlighted the absence of meaningful data. However, Richard Armstrong discusses why information gathering alone will never deliver patient safety.
The Cumberlege review1 published in July 2020 was the culmination of an in-depth investigation into three significant medical crises that have occurred within the last 60 years. These include the birth defects linked to the use of sodium valproate, an epilepsy drug and primodos, a hormonal pregnancy test, as well as the more recent pelvic mesh scandal which left many women with problems such as chronic pain, disability and urogynaecological damage
While Cumberlege praised NHS staff for their tireless commitment in responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the review used words such as ‘disjointed, siloed, unresponsive and defensive’ to describe the health service in the way it responded to the crises under the spotlight. The findings made grim reading for all those who shape, work in and come into contact with our healthcare system.
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