Skip to main content

BMA comment on Government Response to Francis Inquiry


Commenting on the Health Secretary’s initial response to the Francis Inquiry report today, Dr Mark Porter, Chair of BMA Council, said:

“We share the Health Secretary’s commitment to greater openness and respect for the dignity of individual patients.

“Creating a culture of zero harm will depend on staff feeling able to speak out freely about poor care. Doctors already have clear professional duties to raise and act on concerns about patient safety. On the rare occasions when they do not, it is often because they are afraid of harassment by employers or colleagues. We share the Health Secretary’s concerns that the threat of criminal sanctions for individual staff would be counterproductive and risk creating a new climate of fear.”

Commenting on plans for a new inspection regime and ‘Ofsted-style’ ratings, Dr Porter said:

“The purpose of the inspection regime should be to ensure that NHS organisations are focusing on their primary mission – to provide safe, high-quality care. We need to avoid a system that encourages managers to focus unduly on ratings.

“It’s important that patients have access to information about the quality of services. However, most healthcare providers are extraordinarily complex organisations, and it is impossible to reduce everything they do to a single meaningful score. Even individual hospital departments and GP practices provide a wide range of different services.

“It is vitally important that we do not allow a ratings system to create a misleading picture of any hospital department or GP practice. This would be unhelpful to patients, as well as demoralising to staff.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The lion and the wildebeest

Birds flock, fish school, bees swarm, but social being is more than simply sticking together.  Social groups enable specialisation and a sharing of abilities, and enhances ability, learning and creating new tricks. The more a group works together, the more effective they become as a team.  Chimpanzees learn from each other how to use stones to crack nuts, or sticks to get termites.  All around us we see cooperation and learning in nature.  Nature is inherently creative.  Pulling together becomes a rallying cry during a crisis.  We have heard it throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  "We are all in this together", a mantra that encourages people to adopt a common strategy. In an era of 'self-interest' and 'survival of the fittest,'  and 'selfish gene', we lose sight of the obvious conclusion from the evidence all around us.   Sticking together is more often the better approach.  This is valid for the lion as it is also for the wildebeest.   We don't

Noise pollution puts nature at risk

 "I just want a bit of peace and quiet!" Let's get away from all the hustle and bustle; the sound of endless traffic on the roads, of the trains on the railway, and the planes in the sky; the incessant drone; the noise. We live in a world of man-made noise; screeching, bellowing, on-and-on in an unmelodious cacophony.  This constant background noise has now become a significant health hazard.   With average background levels of 60 decibels, those who live in cities are often exposed to noise over 85 decibels, enough to cause significant hearing loss over time.  It causes stress, high blood pressure, headache and loss of sleep and poor health and well-being.   In nature, noise has content and significance.  From the roar of the lion, the laughing of a hyena,  communication is essential for life; as the warning of danger, for bonding as a group or a pair, finding a mate, or for establishing a position in a hierarchy - chattering works.  Staying in touch is vital to working

Therapeutic animal stress

Interacting with animals is known to be therapeutic,  particularly in reducing stress.  But do we consider sufficiently the effects this may have on the animals involved?   We might assume that because it is calming for us, then it must be so for the therapeutic animals, but is this so?  New research suggests that it isn't always without stress for the animals involved.  Positive human-animal interaction relates to changes in physiological variables both in humans and other animals, including a reduction of subjective psychological stress (fear, anxiety) and an increase of oxytocin levels in the brain.  It also reduces the 'stress' hormone, cortisol. Indeed, these biological responses have measurable clinical benefits.  Oxytocin has long been implicated in maternal bonding, sexual behaviour and social affiliation behaviours and in promoting a sense of well-being .  So far, so good.  We humans often turn to animals for stress relief, companionship, and even therapy.  We kno