Law building, University campus

Patient safety is both a major global and NHS domestic problem. We all need health care treatment and the systems, staff that provide this can fail causing personal injury, death. It has been calculated that in high income countries, around 1 in 10 patients are harmed while receiving care in hospital.

Nobody is infallible and health care can be a complicated process, dependent on human skill, judgment, complex equipment and so on. Some degree of error is always going to be inevitable and the best that we can hope to do is to manage risk properly. To do this health care systems need effective governance, regulatory systems, structures to safeguard patient rights and facilitate good, safe health care practices. Laws, legislation underpin health care regulatory and governance processes in health care systems across the world.

Our new book, published in December 2023, Research Handbook on Patient Safety and the Law, Edited by John Tingle, Caterina Milo, Gladys Msiska and Ross Millar, Edward Elgar Publishing, explores patient safety policies and practices in several countries including the NHS in England. Read more...