The Health Foundation has released an update on the lessons learned from its Safer Patients Initiative.

Around 16 million people are admitted to hospital each year in theUK. Most are treated safely and successfully. However, a disturbingly high number will find that something goes wrong with their treatment or care, resulting in unnecessary harm and sometimes death.

Estimates suggest that one in 10 patients in hospital experiences an incident that puts their safety at risk, and that about half of these could have been prevented.

The Health Foundation's Safer Patients Initiative was set up to address this problem and find ways of making hospitals safer for patients. Learning from the initiative has informed the development of the English safety campaign. Stephen Ramsden, chief executive ofLutonand Dunstable Hospital foundation trust, has recently been appointed as its director.LutonandDunstableHospitalwas one of the first four sites to pilot the initiative, which in its second phase now works with 20 more hospitals across theUK.

The briefing focuses on the importance of senior leadership, system change and team working to making hospitals safer. Emerging lessons from the initiative include the need for staff to have regular data about their work backed up by effective systems to provide this. Staff also need to be given the skills to make effective change with an infrastructure in place that supports this.

Carol Haraden from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which is supporting the hospitals in this initiative, said: "At the most basic level, if healthcare providers can't ensure that patients who are admitted to hospital with a non-life threatening condition will come out alive, then none of the other treatments or services they provide will matter."

To download a copy of the report, visit