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Hospital watchdog chief calls for honesty over Covid pandemic’s impact on patient care

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The chief inspector of hospitals has called for honesty about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on patients warning poor care could become normalised.

Professor Ted Baker told The Independent it was vital staff continued to report incidents and revealed the Care Quality Commission had seen a 60% rise in whistleblowing concerns during the last national lockdown in November.

He said staff must report incidents and be free to speak up about any concerns as well as being transparent with families where things have gone wrong.

He emphasised that where a patient was unable to get the care they clinically needed because of the demand on services, this would amount to a notifiable patient safety incident.

Professor Baker’s comments follow multiple anonymous leaks from NHS staff to The Independent in recent weeks, showing how bad the situation has become in some hospitals. Many staff have only spoken out on condition of anonymity.

Many hospitals have declared major incidents, cancelled operations and been forced to stretch staffing ratios to unsafe levels to cope with the increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients.

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Source: The Independent, 7 January 2021

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