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Latest NHS maternity scandal is product of toxic 'can't happen here' mentality

Shrewsbury and Telford hospital NHS trust has uncovered dozens of avoidable deaths and more than 50 babies suffering permanent brain damage over the past 40 years. But how many more babies must die before NHS leaders finally tackle unsafe, disrespectful, life-wrecking services? The NHS’s worst maternity scandal raises fundamental questions about the culture and safety of our health service.

Too many hospital boards complacently believe “it couldn’t happen here”. Instead of constantly testing the quality and reliability of their services, they look for evidence of success while explaining away signs of danger.

Across the NHS there are passionate clinicians and managers dedicated to building a culture that delivers consistently high quality care. But they are undermined by a pervasive willingness to tolerate and excuse poor care and silence dissent. Until that changes, the scandals will keep coming.

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Source: The Guardian, 2 November 2019


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