MISTAKES are not being reported properly in hospitals across England, shocking new league tables will show. By Zoie O’Brien
Lessons to be learnt from Mid Staffs.
Half of England’s hospitals are not adequately recording mistakes
NHS providers across the country have been ranked on their reporting culture under new measures brought in to stop dangerous mistakes which have led to accidents and even deaths.
The league tables are part of the plans to improve safety in England’s healthcare and the Department of Health expects they will encourage staff to speak up.
NHS Improvement will publish the annual Learning From Mistakes League rating NHS providers in terms of their openness and transparency based on information gathered from various data sources including the NHS Staff Survey.
The first table will show that 120 organisations were rated as “outstanding” or “good” but there were “significant concerns” about 78 providers and 32 were rated as having a “poor” reporting culture, the Department of Health said.
Speaking at the first ministerial-level Global Patient Safety Summit, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will say the NHS needs to make “secrecy a thing of the past”.
Mr Hunt said the NHS had already learnt from the horrifying revelations of failings at Stafford hospital, a small district general hospital in Staffordshire
Hundreds of patients died or became seriously ill as a result of poor care over 50 months between January 2005 and March 2009.
Health minister Jeremy Hunt wants to end ‘secrecy’
Mr Hunt said the NHS had already learnt from the horrifying revelations of failings at Stafford hosp
It is a scandal that every week there are potentially 150 avoidable deaths in our hospitals and it is up to us all to make the need for whistleblowing and secrecy a thing of the past as we reform the NHS and its values and move from blaming to learning
Jeremy Hunt MP
Mr Hunt said: “A huge amount of progress has been made in improving our safety culture following the tragic events at Mid Staffs but to deliver a safer NHS for patients, seven days a week we need to unshackle ourselves from a quick-fix blame culture and acknowledge that sometimes bad mistakes can be made by good people.
“It is a scandal that every week there are potentially 150 avoidable deaths in our hospitals and it is up to us all to make the need for whistleblowing and secrecy a thing of the past as we reform the NHS and its values and move from blaming to learning.
“Today we take a step forward to building a new era of openness and the safest healthcare system in the world.”
Mr Hunt will also set out a series of other new safety measures for the health service
The plans include the introduction of medical examiners who will review every death certificate and an independent Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch where health workers can report concerns.
Under the proposed changes doctors and nurses who admit to mistakes and apologise will be given “credit” if their cases are heard by tribunal panels and England will also become the first country in the world to publish estimates by every hospital trust of their own avoidable mortality rates.
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People are still being let down by the NHSGETTY
New league tables will be released soon showing which hospitals are not meeting reporting standards
James Titcombe, whose son Joshua died after failings at Morecambe Bay, said the measures were “major steps” which will help the NHS learn from mistakes.
Mr Titcombe who now acts as a national adviser on patient safety, culture and quality, said: “Time and time again, we hear the promise that ‘lessons will be learned’ following reports about systemic failures and individual stories of avoidable harm and loss in the NHS.
“Yet, far too often, the same mistakes are repeated and meaningful learning and lasting change simply doesn’t happen.
Hospitals are not reporting mistakes properlyGETTY
Minister Jeremy Hunt wants NHS staff to report each other for failings
“If we are going to transform this, it’s clear that we need to do something different. Events at Mid Staffs and Morecambe Bay serve to highlight the devastating consequences of a culture that failures to learn.
“These announcements are about saying ‘never again’ – the measures announced are major steps that will help move the NHS towards the kind of true learning culture that other high risk industries take for granted.”
Labour’s shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander said while Labour supports any measures to improve the NHS, hospitals are struggling across the country.
She said: “On Jeremy Hunt’s watch hospitals are overcrowded, understaffed and facing financial crisis. Patients are suffering longer waits and satisfaction with the NHS is getting worse, not better.”