IR(ME)R notifications down but not because of fewer incidents

Published: 29 November 2018 Ezine

There has been a decrease in the number of IR(ME)R notifications, the first time this has happened, according to the Care Quality Commission.

The CQC report for 2017/18 says there has been a 28% decrease between 2016 and 2017.

However, the report notes: Where the guidance amended the definitions of what constitutes a notifiable incident, it had an impact on the number of notifications; where guidance remained the same, the numbers were comparable with the previous years. This leads us to believe that the overall decrease in notifications is not due to improving practices, but is a direct result of the changes to guidance.

There were:

  • 975 notifications reported for diagnostic imaging errors, a decrease of around 30%
  • 94 notifications relating to errors in nuclear medicine, which is the only modality where notifications increased in 2017 by 26%
  • 157 notifications of radiotherapy errors, a decrease of 35% between 2016 and 2017.

The report says, “We urge employers to clarify and reinforce the responsibilities of all IR(ME)R duty holders and staff, and to remind them not to become complacent. Speed and efficiency should not come at the expense of vital safety checks for patients.”

Read the full report covering diagnostic Imaging, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy.