Patient safety is an issue which in recent years has grown to prominence in a number of countries’ political and health service agendas. The World Health Organisation has launched the World Alliance for Patient Safety. Millions of patients, according to the Alliance, endure prolonged ill-health, disability and death caused by unreliable practices, services, and poor health care environments. At any given time 1.4 million people worldwide are suffering from an infection acquired in a health facility.
Patient Safety, Law Policy and Practice explores the impact of legal systems on patient safety initiatives. It asks whether legal systems are being used in appropriate ways to support state and local managerial systems in developing patient safety procedures, and what alternative approaches can and should be utilized. The chapters in this collection explore the patient safety managerial structures that exist in countries where there is a developed patient safety infrastructure and culture. The legal structures of these countries are explored and related to major in-country patient safety issues such as consent to treatment protocols and guidelines, complaint handling, adverse incident reporting systems, and civil litigation systems, in order to draw comparisons and conclusions on patient safety.