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Found 1,545 results
  1. News Article
    Adult transgender clinics in England are facing a Cass-style inquiry into how they treat patients after whistleblowers raised concerns about the care they provide. NHS England has announced that it is setting up a review of how the seven specialist services operate and deliver care after past and present staff shared misgivings privately during a previous investigation. As a first step, NHS England will send “external quality improvement experts” into each of the clinics to gather evidence about how they care for patients, to help guide the inquiry’s direction. The move follows the publication on Wednesday of a landmark review by Dr Hilary Cass, a former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which recommended sweeping changes in the way that the health service treats under-18s who are unsure about their gender identity. In a letter responding to Cass’s report, which NHS England sent on Tuesday to the seven trusts that host adult gender dysphoria clinics (GDCs), it told them: “We will be launching a review into the operation and delivery of the adult GDCs, alongside the planned review of the adult gender dysphoria service specification.” Robbie de Santos, director of campaigns and human rights at Stonewall, an LGBT rights charity, said: “Gender healthcare for adults in the UK is, simply put, not fit for purpose. Many trans adults are being forced to go private at great personal expense to avoid waiting lists in excess of half a decade. We would welcome a review aimed at tackling this unacceptable state of affairs and building capacity into the system.” Read full story Source: Guardian, 10 April 2024
  2. News Article
    A statutory inquiry into deaths of mental health patients will now cover fatalities that took place as late as December 2023. The inquiry’s investigations are focused “on the trusts which provide NHS mental health inpatient care in Essex”. This includes: “Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust, and the North East London Foundation Trust and their predecessor organisations, where relevant.” NELFT was not specifically mentioned in the original terms of reference although the inquiry told HSJ it had been within the original scope. The inquiry will also now cover deaths of NHS patients from Essex who died when under the care of private sector providers. The inquiry’s previous terms of reference covered a period ending in 2020. However, the inquiry’s chair, Baroness Kate Lampard, proposed extending the inquiry’s scope last year due to “ongoing concerns” over services at EPUFT. Read full story (paywalled) Lampard Inquiry: Terms of reference Source: HSJ, 11 April 2024
  3. Content Article
    The Lampard Inquiry will seek to understand the events that led to the tragic deaths of mental health inpatients under the care of NHS trusts in Essex between 2000 and 2023. This document outlines the terms of reference set following consultation with the chair of the inquiry, Baroness Lampard.
  4. News Article
    A man who suffered a psychotic episode which lasted for weeks was not fully informed about potential extreme side-effects of taking steroids medication, England’s health service Ombudsman has found. Andrew Holland was prescribed steroids in early January 2022 by Manchester Royal Eye Hospital after losing vision in his left eye and suffering a severe infection in his right eye. The 61-year-old from Manchester was given the medication as treatment for eye inflammation, but soon began suffering from disrupted sleep and severe headaches. These side-effects developed into more serious ones, including becoming aggressive, psychotic, and inexplicably wandering the street at different times of the day and night. After several hospital visits due to his symptoms, Andrew attended Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s emergency department in mid-January with a severe headache and later became an inpatient. He was diagnosed with steroid induced psychosis, with symptoms including hallucinations, insomnia and behaviour changes. Though no failings were found with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust in prescribing Andrew with steroids for the eye condition, the Ombudsman discovered a missed opportunity to fully inform him of potential extreme side-effects. He was therefore unable to make a fully informed decision about whether to take them or not. The Trust apologised for an ‘unsatisfactory experience’. However, the Ombudsman found relevant guidelines were not followed. Moreover, there had been no acknowledgement of mistakes in communication about the side-effects. Nor was any attempt made to correct them. Read full story Source: PSHO, 10 April 2024
  5. News Article
    Thousands of vulnerable children questioning their gender identity have been let down by the NHS providing unproven treatments and by the “toxicity” of the trans debate, a landmark report has found. The UK’s only NHS gender identity development service used puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, which masculinise or feminise people’s appearances, despite “remarkably weak evidence” that they improve the wellbeing of young people and concern they may harm health, Dr Hilary Cass said. Cass, a leading consultant paediatrician, stressed that her findings were not intended to undermine the validity of trans identities or challenge people’s right to transition, but rather to improve the care of the fast-growing number of children and young people with gender-related distress. But she said this care was made even more difficult to provide by the polarised public debate, and the way in which opposing sides had “pointed to research to justify a position, regardless of the quality of the studies”. “There are few other areas of healthcare where professionals are so afraid to openly discuss their views, where people are vilified on social media, and where name-calling echoes the worst bullying behaviour. This must stop.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 10 April 2024
  6. Content Article
    Dr Hilary Cass has submitted her final report and recommendations to NHS England in her role as Chair of the Independent Review of gender identity services for children and young people. The Review was commissioned by NHS England to make recommendations on how to improve NHS gender identity services, and ensure that children and young people who are questioning their gender identity or experiencing gender dysphoria receive a high standard of care, that meets their needs, is safe, holistic and effective.  The report describes what is known about the young people who are seeking NHS support around their gender identity and sets out the recommended clinical approach to care and support they should expect, the interventions that should be available, and how services should be organised across the country. It also makes recommendations on the quality improvement and research infrastructure required to ensure that the evidence base underpinning care is strengthened.
  7. News Article
    A former consultant at the Southern Health Trust has told an inquiry into urology services that waiting lists are the "greatest source of patient harm". The inquiry was established in 2021 and is examining the trust's handling of urology services prior to May 2020. Aidan O'Brien became a consultant urologist in Craigavon Area Hospital in July 1992. His work is at the centre of the inquiry. Giving evidence on Monday, he said waiting list figures highlighted what "myself and my colleagues [have said] for decades" and described it as a "grossly inadequate service". "If you look at four-and-a-half years for urgent surgery, it is appalling," he told the inquiry. "I don't have a magic solution to the current situation, which is dire." Read full story Source: BBC News, 8 April 2024
  8. Content Article
    Richard von Abendorff, an outgoing member of the Advisory Panel of the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB), has written an open letter to incoming Directors on what the new Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) needs to address urgently and openly to become an exemplary investigatory safety learning service and, more vitally, how it must not contribute to compounded harm to patients and families. The full letter is attached at the end of this page.
  9. Content Article
    Batches of some products made by Legency Remedies Pvt Ltd have been found to contain a bacteria called Ralstonia pickettii (R. pickettii). All potentially affected batches are being recalled following an MHRA investigation.
  10. News Article
    A trust has appointed a chair to lead an independent review into dozens of suicides that was sparked by allegations of record tampering. Following questions from HSJ about the review’s chair and terms of reference, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust said Ellen Wilkinson, a former medical director at Cornwall Partnership FT and its current chief clinical information officer, would chair the review. The trust, which is looking for a substantive CEO following Anna Hills’ departure earlier this year, said the review “will not examine individual patient deaths but will take a thematic approach and look at the learnings we can take from these tragic incidents”. The trust told HSJ the terms of reference for the review of more than 60 cases of patients who died by suicide since 2017 were still being finalised. The decision not to investigate individual cases has been criticised by the whistleblower whose concerns prompted the review in the first place, as HSJ reported in October. While an employee of the trust, Des McVey, a consultant nurse and psychotherapist, carried out an investigation in July 2021 into the case of 33-year-old Charles Ndhlovu, who died by suicide in 2017. Mr McVey told HSJ his review found Mr Ndhlovu’s patient record had been tampered with and “his care plans were created on the day after his death” – a conclusion he stands by. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 3 April 2024
  11. News Article
    Patient safety in the Accident & Emergency unit at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow will be reviewed by an NHS watchdog. Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) was first contacted by 29 A&E doctors in May 2023 warning that safety was being "seriously compromised". HIS last month apologised for not fully investigating their concerns. The review will consider leadership and operational issues and how they may have impacted on safety and care. In the letter to HIS, the 29 consultants highlighted treatment delays, "inadequate" staffing levels and patients being left unassessed in unsuitable waiting areas. They claimed this resulted in "preventable patient harm and sub-standard levels of basic patient care". The doctors also said critical events had occurred including potentially avoidable deaths. The consultants said repeated efforts to raise the issues with health board bosses "failed to elicit any significant response". Read full story Source: BBC News, 4 April 2024
  12. News Article
    Catherine O’Connor was 17 when she died, having lost 14 litres of blood during high-risk surgery on her back. At her inquest, the surgeon who operated on her, John Bradley Williamson, told the coroner the procedure at Salford Royal Hospital in Greater Manchester had “progressed uneventfully” and “the blood loss was perhaps a little higher than one would usually anticipate but was certainly not extreme”. The coroner recorded a verdict of death by misadventure. Now Greater Manchester police are examining O’Connor’s death, in February 2007, and whether Williamson misled the coroner during the inquest in September that year. Catherine's family are now demanding a new inquest into her death in 2007. This is because in the days after O’Connor’s death, Williamson sent an internal letter to the head of the hospital’s haematology department, Simon Jowitt, describing the surgery as “difficult” and having involved “a catastrophic haemorrhage”. Williamson had also ignored advice to have a second surgeon present during the operation. Officers led by Detective Inspector Michael Sharples have commissioned two expert reports and sought advice from the Crown Prosecution Service ahead of a meeting with the coroner, who has been asked to consider reopening O’Connor’s inquest. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 31 March 2024
  13. News Article
    Families have been told they will have to prove liability for the harm caused to mothers and children at East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust before getting compensation. This is despite the inquiry having examined each case in detail and concluding 45 babies could have survived, while 12 who sustained brain damage could have had a different outcome. It also determined 23 women who either died or suffered injuries might have had better outcomes had care been given to “nationally recognised” standards. However, NHS Resolution – which handles claims for clinical negligence – now says families must prove causation and a breach of duty of care before any compensation can be made. This stipulation has been made even in cases where the inquiry found different treatment would have been reasonably expected to make a difference to the outcome. The investigation into the trust’s maternity care led by Bill Kirkup reported 18 months ago. Speaking to HSJ, its author said: “I am disappointed that East Kent families are facing these problems after everything that has happened to them. Of course, it is true that the independent investigation panel was not in a position to rule on negligence, but we did provide a robust clinical assessment of each case. “I would have hoped that this could be taken into account in deciding to offer early settlement instead of a protracted dispute. It seems sad that a more compassionate approach has not been adopted.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 2 April 2024
  14. Content Article
    As Rob Behren steps down as the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) he records an episode of Radio Ombudsman, reflecting on his seven years in office. He also tells us about his early life, his career before PHSO and shares his future plans.
  15. News Article
    NHS teams are giving up on patients with severe eating disorders, sending them for care reserved for the dying rather than trying to treat them, a watchdog has warned the government. In a letter to minister Maria Caulfield, the parliamentary health service ombudsman Rob Behrens has hit out at the government and the NHS for failures in care for adults with eating disorders despite warnings first made by his office in 2017. The letter, seen by The Independent, urged the minister to act after Mr Behrens heard evidence that eating disorder patients deemed “too difficult to treat” are being offered palliative care instead of treatment to help them recover. The ombudsman first warned the government that “avoidable harm” was occurring and patients were being repeatedly failed by NHS systems in 2017, following an investigation into the death of Averil Hart. The 19-year-old died while under the care of adult eating disorder services in Norfolk and Cambridge. In 2021, following an inquest into her death and the deaths of four other women, a senior coroner for Cambridge, Sean Horstead, also sent warnings to the government about adult community eating disorder services. Read full story Source: The Independent, 27 March 2024
  16. Event
    Our Human Factors – Applying to Incident Investigation programme is designed to equip staff with the knowledge and skills to use a systems approach to incident investigation. This is a great opportunity for programme participants to develop their understanding of Human Factors and apply this methodology to case studies with peers. The programme introduces the concept of system thinking and provides participants with the opportunity to discuss their own work context. Participants will grow their investigative mindset, whilst developing their knowledge and skills of the investigative process from the event timeline to recommendations for improvement. The programme also includes the opportunity to discuss and reflect on the essential components of good investigation, including; Being open and honest. Duty of candour. Co-designing investigations. Just culture. Systems based frameworks. Closing the loop from recommendations to action. Human Factors – Applying to Incident Investigation will take place on 9, 16 and 23 May 2024. Who is this for? The programme is aimed at all staff who are required to carry out or oversee incident investigation. Programme duration This is a 3 day programme. Delivery methods This programme is delivered virtually.
  17. Content Article
    This article by the Patient Experience Library summarises the findings of an independent review of services at University Hospitals Sussex Trust by the Royal College of Surgeons. The article highlights that it is a positive sign to see the Trust publishing a sensitive report publicly, noting that in the past other trusts have suppressed reviews of this kind. The review highlighted some concerning findings, including: A high volume of complaints from patients and delays in responding. Consultant surgeons being dismissive and disrespectful towards other members of staff and displaying hierarchical behaviours towards allied healthcare professionals, particularly junior members of staff. Reports of two trainees being physically assaulted by a consultant surgeon in theatre during surgery. A culture of fear amongst staff when it came to the executive leadership team, with instances of confrontational meetings where consultant surgeons were told to 'sit down, shut up and listen'.
  18. News Article
    An NHS watchdog has apologised to 29 doctors at Scotland's biggest hospital for not fully investigating their concerns about patient safety. A&E consultants at Glasgow's Queen Elizabeth University Hospital wrote to Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) to warn patient safety was being "seriously compromised". They offered 18 months' worth of evidence of overcrowding and staff shortages to back their claims. But HIS did not ask for this evidence. The watchdog also did not meet any of the 29 doctors - which is almost every consultant in the hospital's emergency department - to discuss the concerns after it received the letter last year. Instead, it carried out an investigation where it only spoke to senior executives at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde before then closing down the probe. HIS has now issued a "sincere and unreserved apology" to the consultants and upheld two complaints about the way it handled their whistleblowing letter about patient safety. One consultant who signed the letter told BBC Scotland: "We'd exhausted all our options and thought HIS was a credible organisation. "We offered to share evidence of patient harm. We were shocked that they ignored this and didn't engage with us as the consultant group raising concerns." Another consultant added they were "shocked at their negligence." Read full story Source: BBC News, 25 March 2024
  19. News Article
    The Government has failed to implement a number of recommendations from significant inquiries into major patient safety issues, years after they were agreed to, according to an independent panel. The report, commissioned by the Health and Social Committee in the wake of the Lucy Letby case, voiced concerns about “delays to take real action”. As part of its investigation, the panel selected recommendations from independent public inquiries and reviews that have been accepted by government since 2010. Nine or more years have passed since these recommendations were accepted by the government of the day These covered three broad policy areas – maternity safety and leadership, training of staff in health and social care, and culture of safety and whistleblowing – and were used to evaluate progress. The panel gave the Government a rating of “requires improvement” across the policy areas. One of the recommendations was rated good. The report said that “despite good performance in some areas” the rating “partly reflects the length of time it has taken for the Government to make progress on fully implementing four of the recommendations which were accepted nine years ago, or longer”. “Progress is imminent in several areas, which is reassuring, but we remain concerned about the time it has taken for real action to be taken,” it added. Read full story Source: The Independent, 22 March 2024 Read Patient Safety Learning's response to the report: Response to Select Committee report: Evaluation of the Government’s progress on meeting patient safety recommendations
  20. Content Article
    The Health and Social Care Select Committee’s Independent Expert Panel produces reports which assess progress the Government has made against their own commitments in different areas of health and care policy. On the 22 March 2024 they published a new report evaluating the implementation of accepted recommendations made by inquiries and reviews into patient safety. This blog sets out Patient Safety Learning’s response to its findings.
  21. Content Article
    This is the report of a review conducted by the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s Independent Expert Panel, examining progress the UK Government has made against accepted recommendations from public inquiries and reviews on patient safety. It focuses on five recommendations, giving the Government for each a rating in the style used by national bodies such as the Care Quality Commission. The overall rating across all recommendations is ‘requires improvement’.
  22. Content Article
    This report outlines the findings of an independent investigation into the conduct of a spinal consultant, Doctor F, who formerly worked at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (now part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust).
  23. News Article
    A group representing hundreds of clinicians has applied to contribute to the Lucy Letby inquiry, to challenge NHS culture around whistleblowing. Their experiences of raising concerns should inform the inquiry, they say. Letby murdered seven babies and attempted to murder another six while working at the Countess of Chester NHS trust between June 2015 and June 2016. The public inquiry is examining how the nurse was able to murder and how the hospital handled concerns about her. "The evidence of this group relating to how whistleblowers are treated, not just at one trust but across the UK, is of huge significance," Rachel di Clemente, of Hudgell Solicitors, acting for the clinicians, said. The group, NHS Whistleblowers, comprising healthcare professionals across the UK, including current and former doctors, midwives and nurses, has written to Lady Justice Thirlwall's inquiry, asking for them to be formally included as core participants. The inquiry has stated it will consider NHS culture. And the group says "a culture detrimental to patient safety" is evident across the health service. "NHS staff who have bravely spoken up about patient-safety concerns or unethical practices deserve to have their voices heard," Dr Matt Kneale, who co-chairs Doctors' Association UK, which is part of the group, said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 March 2024
  24. News Article
    A campaigner in Norfolk says the "deaths crisis" at the county's mental health trust is getting worse. Bereaved relatives met the mental health minister, Maria Caulfield, to discuss failings at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT). The trust says it is on a "rapid, and much-needed journey of improvement". Mark Harrison, from the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk, said: "We judge people by what they do, not what they say." Members of the campaign group met Ms Caulfield and other MPs in Westminster on 12 March and demanded an independent public inquiry into the trust. It came after a report last summer which found that more than 8,000 mental health patients had died unexpectedly in Norfolk and Suffolk between 2019 and 2022. At the meeting, it was agreed Ms Caulfield would meet bosses at the NSFT. The health select committee will also be asked to conduct an inquiry into the trust as part of a broader public inquiry. But Mr Harrison said he had little confidence anything would change. "The deaths crisis is just out of control and it's accelerating," he said. "We have been doing this for 10 years. Every time somebody promises to do something, it doesn't come to anything." Read full story Source: BBC News, 20 March 2024
  25. Content Article
    The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman investigates unresolved complaints about public bodies in Northern Ireland.   Before you make a complaint to us you should normally have: Complained directly to the organisation  Gone through its complaints process Received a final response to your complaint. Their website will give you more information on what Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman do, how to make a complaint, and their investigations.
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