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Keep up to date with the latest news, research and activity in patient safety

Trust leaders must admit ‘entrenched’ bullying culture or leave, says review author

The leaders of University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) must acknowledge and seek to tackle the organisation’s pervasive bullying culture, and those who cannot may need to leave, the lead author of its patient safety review has warned.

In an interview with HSJ, Mike Bewick said humility is required to address major cultural issues identified through conversations he had with senior medics and former employees.

Professor Bewick’s overall view was that UHB was a “safe” place to receive care, but his team had been “disturbed” by consistent reporting of a bullying culture. Professor Bewick wrote in his report that even during his six-week review, initial goodwill from the trust had “dissipated”, adding his team has seen an organisation that is “culturally very reluctant to accept criticism”.

Speaking to HSJ, he acknowledged there were people within UHB who do not accept cultural problems, adding: “I would hope they see the right thing to do is to accept [they] didn’t get everything right, to do a bit of mea culpa, have some humility, and move on. Because I don’t think there’s necessarily a place for people who can’t move on.”

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Source: HSJ, 28 March 2023

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Febrile seizures: Health bodies called to take action to prevent child deaths

An inquest report into the death of a young boy who died at home in his sleep has called for health bodies to take action to prevent further deaths.

Louis Rogers' death was initially categorised as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) but the report recorded febrile seizures contributed.

The recommendations include:

  • A greater emphasis on medical education, research and public information for sudden unexpected deaths associated with febrile seizures
  • Referrals for assessment of febrile seizures should be undertaken earlier to exclude more severe underlying illnesses
  • The NHS website and pamphlet given to parents and guardians following a child's febrile seizure should be updated to help assist them in picking up potential early indicators of a more severe illness
  • "Robust national guidance" and education should be given to GPs so that timely referrals could be made
  • A checklist should be provided for health practitioners so that a child was not given a misdiagnosis of a febrile seizure
  • Records of all contact with health practitioners - including GPs and paramedics - should be available for all

The recommendations were made to six health authorities: Royal College of Paediatricians, Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Royal College of General Practice, Royal College of Emergency Medicine and NHS England.

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Source: BBC News, 29 March 2023


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