DoH urged to banish blame culture from NHS

As many as 10% of patients admitted to hospital suffer some form of harm, much of which is avoidable, according to a Health Select Committee report.


‘Patient Safety’ says reviews of patients’ case notes indicate that in the NHS tens of thousands of patients suffer unnecessary harm each year.

The report details ‘significant under-reporting’ and recommendations include ‘banishing the blame culture’ and the decriminalisation of dispensing errors on the part of pharmacists.

It says: ‘The NHS remains largely unsupportive of whistleblowing, with many staff fearful about the consequences of going outside official channels to bring unsafe care to light. We recommend that the DoH brings forward proposals on how to improve this situation.’

Dr Peter Carter, the RCN’s chief executive and general secretary, said: ‘We need to banish the blame culture, so that staff can speak out to protect patient care. All NHS managers need to take heed of what is in this report and encourage their staff to raise concerns.’

BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: ‘At the moment NHS staff who highlight threats to patient safety are often ignored, bullied or – worse still – threatened with career termination.’


More news from 3 July

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