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Found 183 results
  1. Content Article
    In the two weeks before his death Robbie was seen seven times by five different GPs. The child was seen by three different GPs four times in the last three days when he was so weak and dehydrated he was bedbound and unable to stand unassisted. Only one GP read the medical records, six days before death, and was aware of the suspicion of Addison's disease, the need for the ACTH test and the instruction to immediately admit the child back to hospital if he became unwell. The GP informed the Powells that he would refer Robbie back to hospital immediately that day but did not inform them that Addison's disease had been suspected. The referral letter was not typed until after Robbie had already died and was backdated to the day following the consultation. In a statement after Robbie's death this GP stated: "An Addisonian crisis is precipitated by an intercurrent illness and the stress it induces." Dyfed-Powys Police investigated Robbie's death between 1994 and 1996 but asserted, supported by the Crown prosecution Service in Wales, that there was no evidence of crimes committed by the GPs who, incidentally, were retained by this police force as police surgeons. Following a complaint by Will Powell (Robbie's father) in 1998 against the Deputy Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police, regarding the inadequacies of the criminal investigation, a second criminal investigation was agreed, which commenced in January 1999. As with the first criminal investigation, there was a gross failure to adequately investigate the criminality of the doctors. This resulted in Will Powell making a formal complaint against the Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police in late 1999. This complaint against the Chief Constable resulted in Dyfed-Powys Police appointing an outside police force to review Robbie's case in 2000. Detective Chief Inspector Robert Poole [DCI Poole] from West Midlands Police was appointed. DCI Poole’s investigation report, entitled 'Operation Radiance', which was based on the documents provided to Dyfed Powys Police in March 1994, by Will Powell and his solicitor, was submitted to CPS York in March 2002. This report put forward 35 suggested criminal charges against five GPs and their medical secretary. The listed charges were: gross negligence manslaughter forgery attempting to pervert the course of justice conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. DCI Poole's investigation also resulted in a disciplinary inquiry by Avon & Somerset Constabulary into Will Powell's allegations of misconduct against Dyfed-Powys Police officers with regards to their two inept criminal investigations between 1994 and 2000. Dyfed-Powys Police was found to have been 'institutionally incompetent' but no police officer was made accountable. In April 2003, Will Powell met representatives from the CPS in London, who accepted there was sufficient evidence to prosecute two GPs and their secretary for forgery and perverting the course of justice. However, they would not prosecuted because of (1) the passage of time, which was caused by a decade of cover ups between 1990 and the appointment of DCI Poole in 2000, (2) Dyfed Powys Police had provided the GPs with a letter of immunity, and (3) the available evidence had been initially overlooked by the police and the CPS, between 1994 and 2000, for a variety of reasons. Following a 2013 adjournment debate, in the House of Commons, the Director of Public Prosecutions subsequently agreed, in October 2014, that there would be an independent review of the decisions made by Crown Prosecution Service, in 2003, not to prosecute, when there was sufficient evidence to do so. The reviewing Queen's Counsels have been provided with a report, written by myself ( a healthcare IT professional, former head of IT in an NHS trust and clinician) on major anomalies in Robbie's Morriston Hospital computerised records, which were erased during the first criminal investigation between 1994 and 1996. The review has not been concluded six years on. The letter below (and also attached) from the English and Welsh Ombudsman was sent on 10 November 2020 sets out the case for a Public Inquiry.
  2. Content Article
    The CQC strategy is built on four themes that together determine the changes they want to make. Running through each theme is CQC's ambition to improve people’s care by looking at how well health and care systems are working and how they’re acting to reduce inequalities. It is not enough to look at how one service operates in isolation. It is how services work together that has a real impact on people’s experiences and outcomes. The four themes in our draft strategy are: People and communities: CQC want their regulations to be driven by people’s experiences and what they expect and need from health and care services. They'll focus on what matters to the public, and to local communities, when they access, use, and move between services. Smarter regulation: CQC want their assessments to be more flexible and dynamic. They'll be updating ratings more often, so everybody has an up-to-date view of quality. Being smarter with data means our visits will be more targeted, with a sharper focus on what they need to look at. Safety through learning: CQC want all services to have stronger safety cultures. They’ll expect learning and improvement to be the primary response to all safety concerns in all types of service. When safety doesn’t improve, and services don’t learn lessons, CQC will take action to protect people. Accelerating improvement: CQC want to do more to make improvement happen. They’ll target the priority areas that need support the most. They want to see improvement within individual services, and in the way they work together as a system to make sure people get the care they need. You can read the full strategy in the link below where you will find an online form to respond. Responses by 5.00pm on Thursday 4 March 2021.
  3. News Article
    Strong leadership, challenging poor workplace culture, and ringfencing maternity funding are key to improving safety. That’s the message from two leading Royal Colleges as they respond to the independent review of maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust led by Donna Ockenden. The RCOG and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have today welcomed the Ockenden Review and its recognition of the need to challenge poor working relationships, improve funding and access to multidisciplinary training and crucially to listen to women and their families to improve learning and to ensure tragedies such as those that have happened at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust never occur again. The Colleges have said that the local actions for learning and the immediate and essential actions laid out in this report must be read and acted upon immediately in all Trusts and Health Boards delivering maternity services across the UK. Commenting, Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “This report makes difficult reading for all of us working in maternity services and should be a watershed moment for the system. Reducing risk needs a holistic approach that targets the specific challenges of fetal monitoring interpretation and strengthens organisational functioning, culture and behaviour." Read press release Source: RCOG, 10 December 2020
  4. News Article
    Health chiefs are designing an “early warning” system to detect and prevent future maternity care scandals before they happen, a health minister has said. Patient safety minister Nadine Dorries said she hoped the system would highlight hospitals and maternity units where mistakes were being made earlier. The former nurse also revealed the Department of Health and Social Care was drawing up a plan for a joint national curriculum for both midwives and obstetricians to make sure they had the skills to look after women safely. During a Parliamentary debate following the publication of a report into the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital care scandal, the minister was challenged by MPs to take action to prevent future scandals. The former health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, warned the failings at the Shropshire trust, where dozens of babies died or were left with permanent brain damage, could be repeated elsewhere. He said: “The biggest mistake in interpreting this report would be to think that what happened at Shrewsbury and Telford is a one-off — it may well not be, and we mustn't assume that it is.” Ms Dorries said: “Every woman should own her birth plan, be in control of what is happening to her during her delivery and I really hope ... this report is fundamental in how it's going to reform the maternity services across the UK going forward. Read full story Source: The Independent, 11 December 2020
  5. Content Article
    Immediate and essential actions 1) Enhanced safety Essential action - Safety in maternity units across England must be strengthened by increasing partnerships between Trusts and within local networks. Neighbouring Trusts must work collaboratively to ensure that local investigations into Serious Incidents (SIs) have regional and Local Maternity System (LMS) oversight. 2) Listening to women and families Essential action - Maternity services must ensure that women and their families are listened to with their voices heard. 3) Staff training and working together Essential action - Staff who work together must train together. 4) Managing complex pregnancy Essential action - There must be robust pathways in place for managing women with complex pregnancies Through the development of links with the tertiary level Maternal Medicine Centre there must be agreement reached on the criteria for those cases to be discussed and /or referred to a maternal medicine specialist centre. 5) Risk assessment throughout pregnancy Essential action - Staff must ensure that women undergo a risk assessment at each contact throughout the pregnancy pathway, 6) Monitoring fetal wellbeing Essential action - All maternity services must appoint a dedicated Lead Midwife and Lead Obstetrician both with demonstrated expertise to focus on and champion best practice in fetal monitoring. 7) Informed consent Essential action - All Trusts must ensure women have ready access to accurate information to enable their informed choice of intended place of birth and mode of birth, including maternal choice for caesarean delivery.
  6. Content Article
    Prerana Issar is the Chief People Officer of NHS England and NHS Improvement. She was appointed in February 2019 to this post, which was created after senior leaders in the NHS and Department of Health and Social Care realised that a new approach was needed to a number of serious workforce issues which had become apparent. Among these is the complex, and hugely important, issue of speaking up (sometimes referred to as whistleblowing or raising concerns). Prerana recently retweeted a message from NHS England and NHS Improvement that "It's so important (for NHS staff) to feel able to speak up about anything which gets in the way of patient care and their own wellbeing".[1],[2] She is absolutely right... in principle. She is right to point out that NHS staff have both the right and the duty to speak up about problems like this, as is spelt out in the NHS Constitution[3] and professional codes of conduct for healthcare professionals.[4],[5],[6] The problem is that in practice, as an unknown but substantial number of NHS staff have discovered to their cost, their careers may be at risk if they do speak up as is evident from almost all the replies to both tweets.[1],[2] There is a sad pattern of disciplinary action being taken against staff who have, in good faith, raised concerns in the public interest. Even though their motivation in speaking up in the first place is to improve patient care, they discover to their astonishment that they are considered to be troublemakers for having done so. A depressing cycle of suspension, isolation, unfair dismissal, denigration and blacklisting of the person who has spoken up is often played out, whilst the original concerns and their validity are covered up. What a waste of valuable resources. The existence of such hostility to staff who have spoken up is evidenced in the 2015 report of the Freedom To Speak Up (FTSU) Review: "an independent review into creating an honest and open reporting culture in the NHS".[7] The press release which accompanied its publication announced that the review "identifies an ongoing problem in the NHS, where staff are deterred from speaking up when they have concerns and can face shocking consequences when they do. The review heard stories of staff that have faced isolation, bullying and counter-allegations when they’ve raised concerns. In some extreme cases when staff have been brave enough to speak up, their lives have been ruined".[8] The FTSU report calls for "an overhaul of NHS policies so that they don’t stand in the way of people raising concerns with those who can take action about them" and sets out "20 Principles and Actions which aim to create the right conditions for NHS staff to speak up". The principles are divided into five categories: the need for culture change; improved handling of cases; measures to support good practice; particular measures for vulnerable groups; and extending the legal protection.[7] In theory the law protects whistleblowers, but in practice, as a procession of disillusioned NHS staff who have experienced reprisals from their employers after speaking up have discovered the hard way, it does not. Employment tribunals are an alien environment for most healthcare staff. Case after case has shown that they are woefully ill-equipped to deal with precipitating patient care issues, in which tribunals appear to have little interest. Even when NHS staff are, against massive odds, found to have been unfairly dismissed after raising concerns in the public interest, the so-called remedy they receive almost invariably amounts merely to paltry financial 'compensation'. These are monetary awards that generally come nowhere near compensating for the full financial consequences. The adverse impact of this lack of protection for whistleblowers is not only on the individual but also includes the chilling effect of deterring other staff from raising concerns and the consequences of cover ups. True overall costs to the NHS, patients, whistleblowers and taxpayers of retaliation against staff who speak up are very much greater than financial costs alone. Staff surveys show that nearly 30% of NHS staff would not feel secure raising concerns about unsafe clinical practice.[9] Over 40% would not be confident that their organisation would address their concern if they do speak up.[10] There is still a lot to do in this area, as has been brought to the fore by recent reports of hostile responses by some NHS organisations to staff who have raised serious personal protective equipment (PPE) concerns affecting patient safety and health of themselves and their families. To be fair, serial staff surveys show a marginal improvement in the percentage of NHS staff who agreed they would feel secure raising concerns about unsafe clinical practice, up from a disturbingly low 68.3% in 2015 to 71.6% in 2019.[9] And a further tiny improvement in the percentage confident that their organisation would address their concern, up from an even lower 56.2% in 2015 to 59.8% in 2019. Viewed from the perspective of NHS whistleblowers whose careers have been wrecked after speaking up these are painfully slow rates of improvement. Bearing in mind widespread reports of PPE shortages, and warnings to NHS staff not to make a fuss about this, it will be interesting to see whether this glacial pace of change in speaking up culture is maintained when the results of the 2020 survey are available. Based on experience in the last two years, we can expect another prolonged FTSU publicity campaign in the month preceding the annual autumn NHS staff survey. The NHS Interim People Plan, published in June 2019, refers to development of a focus on whistleblowing and speaking up. It highlights the need for inclusive and compassionate leadership so that all staff are listened to, understood and supported, and the need to do more to nurture leadership and management skills of middle managers.[11] The original aim was to publish a full, costed NHS People Plan by Christmas 2019,[12] building on the interim plan, but this was delayed by unforeseen events, including a change of government, general election, Brexit ramifications and now the coronavirus pandemic. The interim plan makes clear the need to embed culture changes and leadership capability in order to achieve the aim of making the NHS "the best place to work". There is much to do, and I wish well to those who want to make it safe for staff to speak up, but they must be under no illusion – there is a long way to go – and this will take more than an overhaul of NHS policies. I hope to develop these themes in future postings to the hub. Comments welcome. References NHS England and NHS Improvement tweet, @NHSEngland, 15 May 2020, 6:35pm. Prerana Issar tweet, @Prerana_Issar, 15 May 2020, 6:47pm. The NHS Constitution for England. Updated 14 October 2015. Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The Code: Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses, midwives and nursing associates, 2015, updated 2018. General Medical Council (GMC). Good medical practice: The duties of a doctor registered with the GMC. 2013, last update 2019. Health and Care Professions (HCPC). Standards of conduct, performance and ethics: The ethical framework within which our registrants must work, 2016. Freedom to speak up: An independent review into creating an open and honest reporting culture in the NHS. Report by Sir Robert Francis QC, 11 February 2015. Press release: Sir Robert Francis publishes his report on whistleblowing in the NHS, 11 February 2015. NHS Staff Survey 2019. q18b: % of staff agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement that: 'I would feel secure raising concerns about unsafe clinical practice'. NHS Staff Survey 2019 q18c: % of staff agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement that: 'I am confident that my organisation would address my concern'. Interim NHS People Plan, June 2019. https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/publication/interim-nhs-people-plan/ NHS People Plan overview, 2019.
  7. Content Article
    In this study from Timmel et al., CUSP was implemented beginning in February 2008 on an 18-bed surgical floor at an academic medical center to improve patient safety, nurse/physician collaboration, and safety on the unit. This unit admits three to six patients per day from up to eight clinical services. Improvements were observed in safety climate, teamwork climate, and nurse turnover rates on a surgical inpatient unit after implementing a safety programme. As part of the CUSP process, staff described safety hazards and then as a team designed and implemented several interventions. CUSP is sufficiently structured to provide a strategy for health care organizations to improve culture and learn from mistakes, yet is flexible enough for units to focus on risks that they perceive as most important, given their context. Broad use of this program throughout health systems could arguably produce substantial improvements in patient safety.
  8. Content Article
    From: Learner-Centered Innovation: Spark Curiosity, Ignite Passion and Unleash, Katie Martin. Join the Patient Safety Learning community and sign up to the hub for free. As a member, you’ll be able to join the conversation, get early access to events and receive regular news and updates about patient and staff safety. Further reading and resources: Culture: Good practice Safety culture programmes
  9. Community Post
    It's #SpeakUpMonth in the #NHS so why isn't the National Guardian Office using the word whistleblowing? After all it was the Francis Review into whistleblowing that led to the recommendation for Speak Up Guardians. I believe that if we don't talk about it openly and use the word 'WHISTLEBLOWING' we will be unable to learn and change. Whistleblowing isn’t a problem to be solved or managed, it’s an opportunity to learn and improve. So many genuine healthcare whistleblowers seem to be excluded from contributing to the debate, and yes not all those who claim to be whistleblowers are genuine. The more we move away for labelling and stereotyping, and look at what's happening from all angles, the more we will learn. Regardless of our position, role or perceived status, we all need to address this much more openly and explicitly, in a spirit of truth and with a genuine desire to learn and change.
  10. Content Article
    Questions healthcare leaders should consider as they work to innovate, design, and implement action toward improvement: How are you resourcing your organization to learn from failure? How do you ensure learning happens and is applied widely from the board room to the frontline? How are you partnering within your organisation and the broader healthcare community to empower in-house leaders to achieve improvements? How are you engaging decision-makers to commit to sustained improvement? How do you demonstrate your responsibility and accountability to engage with front-line staff and patients if the momentum for improvement initiatives is lagging? How are you tracking constant, emerging, and future operational, cultural, and clinical risks to prepare for them? How are you ensuring the transparency needed to drive learning and improvement?
  11. Content Article
    The toolkit explores the three phases of how we normally respond to a crisis; Emergency – at the beginning of a crisis there is high energy. A sense of urgency and a common goal brings teams together and things get done. Regression – our sense of purpose becomes less clear, energy levels drop, people get frustrated and are less productive. Recovery – new goals emerge, and we begin to focus on rebuilding rather than simply surviving. An end, or at least a new sense of normality, is in sight. The aim of this framework is to help people begin to think about how they might move to Recovery. The workshop consists of a 90 minute session that can be delivered online or in person. The toolkit, along with some guidance on how to run it: How to guide Proposal Framework for learning Lesson plan Presentation Action plan For more information or support on using the toolkit please contact paul.gimson@wales.nhs.uk social media @improvementcymru
  12. Content Article
    Mersey Care outlines the work they are doing to embrace a just and learning culture, centred on the desire to create an environment where staff feel supported and empowered to learn when things do not go as expected, rather than feeling blamed. You can watch a short film about the issues they want to address and see how they've created a practical tool to aid some of the most delicate staffing conversations. They've also developed free online training aimed at HR staff but accessible to all from their web page.
  13. Content Article
    These infographics are from the summary HSIB report (22 October 2020) entitled "COVID-19 transmission in hospitals: management of the risk – a prospective safety investigation". The exec report can be found here. They explain the five main aspects related to the nosocomial transmission of infection, and how the risks of this happening can be properly managed.
  14. Content Article
    According to the responses we received, the four themes that became most obvious - the four things you think staff most need to be safe - are: Compassionate leaders and role models who prioritise their staff’s wellbeing A respectful, supportive team with good communication and united by a common purpose A safe and just culture that invites staff to speak up Psychological safety, protecting staff form burnout
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