Patient safety report not the “good story” the Health Minister claimed

The Western Australian Government’s 2022 Your Safety In Our Hands In Hospital report has finally been released, five months after it was delivered to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson.

Leader of the WA Liberal Party and Shadow Minister for Health Libby Mettam said the report showed an alarming increase in the number of adverse outcomes for patients treated in WA Hospitals.

“In Parliament, the minister cherry picked a few statistics in advance of the release of the report and tried to spin it as a good story, whereas in reality this is anything but a good story,” Ms Mettam said.

The report shows an increase in all SAC 1 events (incidents that did or could have led to a patient outcome of serious harm or death) and a 30 per cent increase in SAC1 Sentinel Events (SAC1 incidents that were entirely preventable).

“A 30 per cent increase in entirely preventable clinical incidents that did or could have led to a patient outcome of serious harm or death, is not good news, especially for families that have been affected by these events,” Ms Mettam said.

“This is further evidence of a health system under duress.

“Staffing issues continue to cripple WAs frontline health workers and, predictably, the outcomes are not good for patients.

“Western Australians deserve the very best in healthcare and, as an essential service, healthcare should be one of the top priorities of any government; this report shows this is not the case for this Government.

“While the WA Government’s budget position continues to improve, health outcomes are continuing to decline.”

Ms Mettam said the delay, spin and obfuscation around the release of the report showed Minister Sanderson had no respect for patients, health service staff or the broader health sector in WA.

“In another example of bring out your trash under the cover of darkness, this Government attempted to bury this report between an eclipse and Anzac Day, hoping no-one was paying attention.

“This is a Government that believes it’s above transparency and accountability.”