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Government to improve NHS patient safety

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

The Government has announced an overhaul of the NHS to ensure that the quality of patient care remains its key focus.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced how a culture of compassion will be a key marker of success, spelling an end to the distorting impact of targets and box ticking which led to the failings at Stafford Hospital.

The Government’s response to the Francis report includes:

  • Plans to put in place a culture of zero-harm and compassionate care.
  • A new statutory duty of candour will ensure honesty and transparency are the norm in every organisation overseen by the CQC.
  • The new Chief Inspector of Hospitals will be the nation’s whistleblower- in-chief. Publishing survival results improves standards, as has been shown in heart surgery. Survival rates for a further ten disciplines, including cardiology, vascular and orthopaedic surgery will now be published.
  • A new set of fundamental standards will be introduced to make explicit the basic rights that anyone should expect of the NHS. Where these standards are breached, a new failure regime will ensure that firm action is taken swiftly. If it is not, the failure regime could lead to special administration with the automatic suspension of the Board.
  • Health and social care professionals will be held more accountable.
  • The General Medical Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the other professional regulators have been asked to tighten and speed up their procedures for breaches of professional standards.

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