JEREMY Hunt called for transparency to avoid preventable deaths during his visit to Reading on Thursday.

The current secretary of state for Health was at Prospect Park Hospital this week to talk about his focus on patient safety and his vision for the NHS.

Prospect Park was chosen as the platform to unveil the zero-tolerance policy on suicide as it was the first mental and community health trust in the south of England to be awarded a ‘Good’ rating by the Care Quality Commission.

Mr Hunt said: “I was delighted to visit Prospect Park Hospital to hear about their drives to improve patient safety. 

“The trust’s zero suicide campaign is commendable and a really important ambition, and I was able to meet the staff involved and thank them for their hard work and dedication. 

“We are investing record amounts in mental health, but services are still in high demand and staff have never worked harder.” 

Reading Chronicle:

During his visit to Reading, the politician announced plans to make the NHS the first healthcare system in the world to publish quarterly reports on the number of preventable deaths.

Prospect Park specialises in patients with mental illnesses and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has 216 mental health inpatient beds and 180 community hospital beds in five locations. 

The drive to support mental health was accompanied by a speech from Professor Tim Kendall, NHS England’s national clinical director for mental health.

Together he and Mr Hunt be visiting trusts across the country, looking at similar initiatives at good or outstanding practices.

Efforts will also be made to assist the trusts who need further support to reach the desired standard.

Helen Mackenzie, director of nursing and governance at Berkshire Healthcare, added: "We were delighted to welcome the Secretary of State for Health and Professor Kendall to hear the plans and share some of our own successful initiatives with them.

“Patient safety is a core focus for us and our new quality improvement programme empowers all our frontline staff to find solutions and continue to make improvements."