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Patient Safety Congress: Money seen as more important than safety in NHS

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Patient safety is subordinate to financial matters within the NHS, according to its recently appointed medical director.

But Sir Bruce Keogh told delegates that was not acceptable given the NHS was now in better financial shape than it had been for years.

Sir Bruce said: ‘Patient safety is subordinate to fiscal reporting. Safety and quality indicators should have the same weight as fiscal indicators.

‘For the first time the NHS is in small surplus and I think that gives you an opportunity to focus on quality initiatives.

‘The vast majority [of trusts] are in financial balance and what I would like to see is the issues of quality and safety receive the same levels of attention, so that money is used for quality and safety.’

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