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Found 286 results
  1. Content Article
    This ethnographic study looked at five local Healthwatch organisations to determine the extent to which they have fulfilled their intended role of fostering co-creation in health and social care in England. The study results demonstrate clear activity and some tangible impacts that have been achieved towards the aim of cocreation. However, the authors also highlight that the positioning of these organisations as 'collaborative insiders' in local governance systems has limited the issues that have been prioritised in co-creative activities. This analysis suggests that the increasing promotion of ideas of co-production in English health and social care has resulted in fertile grounds for localised co-creation. However, the authors highlight that the areas Healthwatch focused on were ones where other agencies in the system recognised their limitations, and where they knew they needed help to avoid socially undesirable outcomes. As a result, the approaches taken to co-creation by Healthwatch were largely conservative and constrained. The authors state that, "Even though they were not explicitly ruled out-of-bounds, Healthwatch officers knew that to be considered legitimate and serious players in the governance of health and social care, they needed to be selective about which issues they brought to the table."
  2. Content Article
    In this article, investigative journalist Scilla Alecci reports on a court case brought against medical tech company Medtronic by a US whistleblower. Former Medtronic sales representative Leanne Houston alleges that between 2016 and 2018 she witnessed the company engaging in “unlawful conduct” by offering several US hospitals free equipment in exchange for the exclusive use of Medtronic products. She also claims that the company failed to acknowledge and deal with reports from surgeons that one of its surgical staple devices was causing harm to patients.
  3. Content Article
    In this letter to Health Secretary Steve Brine MP, members of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Pandemic Response and Recovery raise serious concerns about the approach of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to patient safety. They outline problems within the MHRA that continue to put patients at serious risk of harm. The letter also highlights the role of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review (IMMDS), in its thorough investigation of Primodos, sodium valproate and pelvic mesh in bringing some of these concerns to the fore. It points to recent evidence presented to the APPG that indicates that the MHRA is at the heart of wider endemic failings, with issues uncovered so far being "the tip of a sizeable iceberg of failure." The letter outlines concerns about the following areas: The Yellow Card Scheme Conflicts of interest and transparency History of regulatory failures in the MHRA It calls on the Health and Social Care Select Committee to investigate these issues and make recommendations to the government on: legislative changes as to who is obligated to report adverse drug reactions. funding changes to the MHRA. separation of regulatory approval duties from post marketing pharmacovigilance. more inclusion of patients. greater transparency across the board. proper enforcement of Part 14 of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.
  4. Content Article
    Extracts of a letter from David Osborn to the UK Covid-19 Public Inquiry Legal Team regarding misleading evidence by Professor Yvonne Doyle, which: Highlights errors in Prof Yvonne Doyle’s evidence to the Inquiry relating to the declassification of Covid‑19 as a high consequence infectious disease. Calls into question Professor Sir Jonathan Van Tam’s evidence to the Inquiry in which he sought to attribute responsibility for the downgrade from FFP3 to FRSM to Public Health England. The letter sets out his involvement in the issue of the 4-Nations IPC guidance version 1.0 which implemented that downgrade. Further reading on the hub: Healthcare workers with Long Covid: Group litigation – a blog from David Osborn
  5. Content Article
    In December 2022, a newly formed group called 'Long Covid Doctors for Action' (LCD4A) conducted a survey to establish the impact of Long Covid on doctors. When the British Medical Association published the results of the survey, the findings were both astonishing and saddening in equal measure.[1] The LCD4A have now decided that enough is enough and that it is now time to stand up and take positive action. They have initiated a group litigation against those who failed to exercise the ‘duty of care’ that they owed to healthcare workers across the UK during the pandemic.  In this blog, I summarise how and why I feel our healthcare workers have been let down by our government and why, if you are one of these healthcare workers whose life has been effected by Long Covid, I urge you to join the group litigation initiative.
  6. Content Article
    Surgeons' News is a magazine for surgical, dental and allied healthcare professionals. Published quarterly by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, it features comment and opinion from leading professionals, plus reviews and reports on subjects relevant to all career levels. In the article 'Truth and compassion' (page 20-21), David Alderson considers the patient’s perspective on mistakes.
  7. News Article
    Next week’s launch of the ‘Wayfinder’ waiting time information service on the NHS App will give patients “disingenuous” and “misleading” information about how long they can expect to wait for care, senior figures close to the project have warned. Briefing documents seen by HSJ show the figure displayed to patients will be a mean average of wait times taken from the Waiting List Minimum Data Set and the My Planned Care site. However, it was originally intended that the metric displayed would be the time waited by 92% of relevant patients. This is more commonly known as the “9 out of 10” measure. Mean waits are likely to be about “half the typical waiting time” measured under the 9 out of 10 metric, according to the waiting list experts consulted by HSJ. Ahead of The Wayfinder service’s launch on Tuesday, NHS trusts and integrated care boards have been sent comprehensive information on how to publicise it, including a “lines to take” briefing in case of media inquiries. This mentions the use of an “average” time but does not provider any justification for this approach. HSJ’s source said the mean average metric was “the worst one to choose” as it would be providing patients with “disingenuous” information that will leave them disappointed. They added that the 92nd percentile metric would be a “far more realistic” measure “for a greater number of people”. They concluded that “using an average” would create false expectations “because in reality nobody will be seen in the amount of time it is saying on the app.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 26 January 2024
  8. News Article
    Senior leaders are resorting to “ticking the duty of candour box” instead of developing a “just and learning” culture in their organisations because their bandwidth is full, the patient safety commissioner has said. Speaking with HSJ as she begins the second year of her first term in the newly-established role, Henrietta Hughes said the bandwidth of senior leaders is “too full for them to make and maintain the necessary culture change”. She warned the duty of candour — giving patients and families the right to receive open and transparent communication when care goes wrong — gets seen as a “bit of a tick box exercise, ‘doc tick’ as it’s described to me, which is a bit depressing really”. A GP herself, she said individual doctors typically respond to concerns or they are handled by someone who knows the patient. Elsewhere, complaints are often addressed through a chief executive’s office, once all staff have provided written statements, she said. She added: “[In general practice] it feels more compassionate and empathetic… I find it’s often quicker to have a conversation with the patient before it turns into a formal complaint and resolves it quickly.” “What needs to change is that [NHS] trusts are currently held accountable to a very narrow set of criteria — financial and operational performance,” she said. “This is how we will improve safety and experience, transparency, a just and learning culture, and improve morale.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 30 January 2024
  9. Content Article
    Traditionally, recommendations regarding responding to medical errors focused mostly on whether to disclose mistakes to patients. Over time, empirical research, ethical analyses and stakeholder engagement began to inform expectations — which are now embodied in communication and resolution programmes (CRPs) — for how healthcare professionals and organisations should respond not just to errors but any time patients have been harmed by medical care (adverse events). CRPs require several steps: quickly detecting adverse events, communicating openly and empathetically with patients and families about the event, apologising and taking responsibility for errors, analysing events and redesigning processes to prevent recurrences, supporting patients and clinicians, and proactively working with patients toward reconciliation. In this modern ethical paradigm, any time harm occurs, clinicians and health care organisations are accountable for minimising suffering and promoting learning. However, implementing this ethical paradigm is challenging, especially when the harm was due to an error.
  10. Content Article
    In this BMJ Leader article, Roger Kline discusses the failings of the Countess of Chester NHS Boards in 2022 following the arrest of Lucy Letby. Roger highlights that this is not unique to the Counter of Chester: Reputation management that avoids timely decisive action is familiar to staff in many NHS organisations. Primacy of finance at a time of gross NHS under-resourcing has roots in Government policy and a national failure to challenge it. The failure of the Countess of Chester Board to be curious and create a culture where staff who raised concerns were seen as “gold dust” not troublemakers, is commonplace not unique. Roger acknowledges that there are no simple solutions but says that the regulation for managers is a performative gesture unless accompanied by other measures. He suggests that we "Make patient safety the prime litmus test for all initiatives and 'stop the line' (from Board to ward) when it is not. Do not allow organisational reputation to ever influence decision making in response to concerns. Be relentlessly 'problem sensing' not “comforting seeking'”.
  11. 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.
  12. Content Article
    In this infographic, the Patient Safety Commissioner for England, Dr Henrietta Hughes, sets out her strategy for supporting the development of a new culture for the health system centred on listening to patients.
  13. Content Article
    This constructive commentary reflects on two recent related publications, the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) report, Variations in the delivery of palliative care services to adults, and an article from Sarcoma UK, Family insights from Dermot’s experience of sarcoma care. Drawing from these publications, Richard, brother-in-law of Dermot, gives a family perspective, calling for a more open discussion around how we can improve palliative care and sarcoma services, and why we must listen and act upon family and patient experience and insight.
  14. Content Article
    As part of the 21st Century Cures Act (April 2021), electronic health information (EHI) must be immediately released to patients in the USA. This study in the American Journal of Surgery sought to evaluate clinician and patient perceptions regarding this immediate release of results and reports. Interviews with patients and clinicians found differences in perceived patient distress and comprehension, emphasising the impersonal nature of electronic release and necessity for therapeutic clinician-patient communication.
  15. Content Article
    In this blog, Scott Ellner, a general surgeon from the US, describes the case of a surgeon colleague who unintentionally harmed a patient, Sarah, during surgery. Sarah ended up in the surgical intensive care unit from septic shock due to a missed bowel injury. Her recovery from what should have been a straightforward procedure was long and complicated. Scott recalls how the surgeon was shocked by the way Sarah's husband responded to him when he explained what had happened—instead of an anger and blame, Sarah's husband expressed compassion for the doctor and reiterated his trust in him. Scott highlights the importance of creating a Just Culture in healthcare systems and outlines challenges to this in the current climate, referring to the case of nurse RaDonda Vaught. He also outlines the impact patient safety incidents and medical errors can have on healthcare professionals, calling on the healthcare community to embrace shared humanity. All of us come with imperfections, vulnerabilities and the capacity for healing and growth.
  16. News Article
    A mother who endured a botched surgery at the hands of a disgraced neurosurgeon claims NHS Tayside tried to silence her against making complaints. Professor Sam Eljamel removed Jules Rose's tear duct during a failed attempt to operate on a brain tumour - setting the 55-year-old on a path to becoming a prolific campaigner for patients' rights. Ms Rose, however, has received sight of documents that show NHS Tayside writing to the then-health minister Humza Yousaf to say she had been "aggressive" and "vulgar" and they would no longer communicate with her. In a letter in response, Mr Yousaf says he sees no evidence of any such conduct by the mother-of-two and tells the health board to enter into mediation with her. Ms Rose said: "In the letter I have been given, Humza Yousaf writes back and say, 'She's quite right to feel aggrieved at the treatment she's received. "'Therefore, I suggest that you continue liaising with Miss Rose and enter into mediation.' "This was last November but I've only just had copies of the letters sent to me and when I saw them I thought, 'They've tried to shut me down, they're tried to silence me'." The ongoing dispute with NHS Tayside is as a result of Ms Rose's long-running campaign for justice for patients - thought to be as many as 270 - harmed by Eljamel while he was in the health board's employ. Read full story Source: The Herald, 16 December 2023
  17. Content Article
    The review into the statutory duty of candour has been established by the Department of Health and Social Care to consider the design of operation of this requirement, assess its effectiveness and make advisory recommendations. The duty of candour is about people’s right to openness and transparency from their health or care provider. It means that when something goes wrong during the provision of health and care services, patients and families have a right to receive explanations for what happened as soon as possible and a meaningful apology.
  18. Content Article
    How would you feel if your doctor offered you a treatment your health condition with good results and very little risk? You might snap it up. But what if you subsequently found out your doctor took thousands of pounds from the treatment makers to write a scientific paper promoting it, attend an all-expenses paid conference to talk about it, or spent time working as their expert consultant? In America, industry must log payments which are published on the open database system. Reporting to this is backed up by law following the American Sunshine Payment Act (2013). Sling the Mesh is calling for similar legislation in the UK to provide up-to-date evidence on industry money exchanging hands we Kath Sansom discusses in a blog on the Patient Safety Commissioner website.
  19. Content Article
    Whistleblowing presentation from Peter Duffy to the Association for Perioperative Practice, September 2022. York University.
  20. Content Article
    Would you know what to do if something went wrong with your medical treatment in private/independent healthcare? This guide from PHIN tells what you should understand before choosing where to have your treatment and what to do if everything doesn’t go to plan.
  21. Content Article
    You have the right to make a complaint about any aspect of NHS care, treatment or service The information on this NHS page will guide you through the NHS complaints process, as well as the core requirements for NHS complaints handling.
  22. Content Article
    This blog provides an overview of a Patient Safety Management Network (PSMN) meeting discussion on 27 October 2023. At this meeting, members of the network were joined by Dr Ted Baker, Chair of the Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB). The PSMN, created in June 2021, is an innovative voluntary network for patient safety managers and everyone working in patient safety. It provides a weekly drop-in session with guests to talk through issues of importance to patient safety managers, providing information, peer support and safe space for discussion. Find out more about the Network.
  23. News Article
    Peter Marshall was delighted when he finally got an appointment after calling his GP surgery for several days. On the day, he saw a young medic who said his excruciating stomach pain was caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and suggested over-the-counter peppermint tablets to ease the discomfort. And off the 69-year-old retired IT specialist went, happy to have a diagnosis and treatment. In fact, Peter hadn't had an appointment with a GP — he had been seen by a physician associate (PA). This is a type of healthcare worker whose numbers are about to soar in the NHS in order to reduce the pressure on doctors so that they can concentrate on the most complex and seriously ill patients. It all sounds like a great idea. Indeed, PAs are now being employed across areas that are particularly stretched, with around a third of PAs working in GP surgeries and 10% in A&E departments, according to the latest census by the Royal College of Physicians. But they are actually spread across 46 NHS specialties, from urology and surgery to cardiology and mental health. In this role, they are permitted to carry out a range of medical tasks, from performing physical examinations, diagnosing patients and analysing test results to running clinics and performing minor procedures — as well as doing home visits — all under the supervision of a doctor. However, in the case of Peter Marshall, although he was reassured by his diagnosis, his symptoms were, in fact, a sign of bowel cancer — and he died nine months later, in January this year. His sister, who has told Good Health his story, says: 'My brother had no idea that he had seen a PA and not a qualified doctor — he didn't know the word physician associate even existed, no one does.' The family, from London, later received an apology from the PA. 'Patients are so desperate to get an appointment with their GP, you are grateful to see anyone and whatever they say, you accept,' she says. Read full story Source: Daily Mail, 9 October 2023
  24. News Article
    Staff without medical training who fill gaps in the NHS workforce must tell patients they are “not a doctor” when introducing themselves, under new guidance. The advice has been issued to “physician associates” (PAs), a type of clinical role that requires less training than doctors receive, amid a row over their use in the NHS. PAs complete a two-year postgraduate qualification, but no medical degree, and can diagnose and treat patients. They can work in A&E or GP surgeries. NHS England has set out plans to expand the number of PAs to deal with staff shortages, with a workforce of 10,000 PAs wanted over the next decade. The plan has been met with opposition from doctors’ leaders, who say the growing use of PAs instead of fully qualified doctors is leading to missed diagnoses and deaths. Guidance published by the Faculty of Physician Associates, a part of the Royal College of Physicians, said that PAs must not mislead patients into thinking they are doctors. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 6 October 2023
  25. Content Article
    Paula Goss had surgery to implant rectopexy and vaginal meshes which left her with severe pain and other serious complications. In this blog, Paula talks about why she set up Rectopexy Mesh Victims and Support to campaign for adequate treatment, redress and justice for people injured by surgical mesh. She outlines the need for greater awareness of mesh injuries amongst both healthcare professionals and the public and talks about what still needs to be done to enable people to access the treatment and support they need.
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