Here’s a heartening story from the Independent which reports that the powers that be in British and Irish hospitals are in a race to cut down on preventable deaths. As part of a world wide experiment, St Mary’s Paddington and other hospitals are instituting new checks on surgical instruments before each operation. It’s reckoned the checks will save over 1,000 lives a year. The measures resemble the simple checks pilots make before take-off. While I know at first hand of sterling efforts to beat MRSA, C-Difficile and the like, I’m still amazed the hospital system hasn’t been convulsed in crisis over the death toll. Good to see the Republic’s Health Minister Mary Harney competing with GB to start the checks. Is NI in on the act, I wonder? Does anybody know?