NHS Patient Safety Must Be Paramount

NHS Patient Safety Must Be Paramount

Patient safety “must be top priority” as outlined in a new major review.
Prof Don Berwick former health advisor of US President Barack Obama conducted the review of the NHS and felt that problems existed “throughout” the system.
He said that the NHS was still an “international gem” and said that it could be the world’s safest health care system.
He recommended much needed cultural changes and in extreme cases criminal sanctions.
Prof Berwick felt that there should be changes where the organisations misled regulators or in incidents where there was negligence which had harmed patients.
He felt that a ‘duty of candour’ where the NHS made errors would be too bureaucratic. He felt that this should only be used in serious incidents.
He didn’t think that there should minimum staff ratios set but that insisted that trusts had a duty to keep an eye on staffing levels to ensure patient care wasn’t suffering.
After the public inquiry into the neglect and abuse at Stafford Hospital ministers asked Prof Berwick to conduct the review.
His main goal is to make a new culture in the NHS which is based on being open and transparent.
He has highlighted that all the information aside from personal details should be available to the public.
He wants the NHS management bodies and the various regulators to be more co-operative with one another.
He said that the current system is “bewildering in its complexity” and has called for a review again in 2017 to ensure that everyone was pulling together to try and resolve the issues.
He wants staff to receive support and training in order for them to take pride in their work.
Prof Berwick wants to introduce a “no blame culture” and goes onto insist that if all his plans were introduced the NHS could be “the safest in the world.”
He believed that priorities in large organisations like the NHS could get skewed because of a pressure to hit targets using small budgets.
The government will give a detailed response to the review later in the year.

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