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Child deaths 'not properly investigated' at top hospital

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Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) failed to properly investigate child deaths, suggests evidence uncovered by the BBC.

The source of one fatal infection was never examined and in another case GOSH concealed internal doubts over care. Amid claims GOSH put reputation above patient care, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt urged it to consider a possible "profound cultural problem".

Responding, the central London hospital said it rejected all suggestions that it treated any child's death lightly.

BBC Radio 4's File on 4 programme has spoken to several families whose children were treated at the world-famous hospital. All said that while care at one point had been excellent, when things went wrong GOSH appeared to have little interest in fully understanding what had happened.

The concerns over how Great Ormond Street is run are shared by staff. A staff survey, published last month, made grim reading for management.

On two aspects, including whether there is a safety culture, it received the lowest score of all trusts in its category, while on three other questions, including how bad bullying and harassment were, and how good the quality of care was, its own staff rated it as among the worst.

"If we want the NHS to offer the highest quality care in the world, then we have to change a blame culture and sometimes a bullying culture, for a learning and an improvement culture," the former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told File on 4.

"That staff survey would indicate they don't have that culture at Great Ormond Street."

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Source: BBC News, 17 March 2020

Read Joanne Hughes' response to this news in her blog shared on the hub.

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I worry that the new NHSI PS incident framework allows organisations to chose whether they investigate or not. Those with poor safety cultures could chose to avoid proper investigation. No learning and no action will inevitably lead to further harm @Joanne Hughes

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