NPSA to be abolished

The government is planning to abolish the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), according to plans it has set out in its review of arm’s-length bodies (see here).

Its functions will be divided among different bodies, with the work related to reporting and learning from serious patient safety incidents moving to the new NHS Commissioning Board, and the National Research Ethics Service being considered as part of a review of research regulation. The Health Protection Agency and National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse are also to be abolished, with their functions transferring to the new public health service.

Matt Griffiths, ANP committee member and visiting professor of prescribing and medicines management at the University of the West of England, is concerned about these plans: “Medication safety is a huge, huge issue and should be high-profile – it needs to be considered as a whole. Enforcement and policy making should be informed by research, and it is vital that the expertise is on board to reduce the large number of medication-related hospital admissions and incidents each year”.