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

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

Prioritising people in nursing care.

There has been in recent years concern that care in the NHS has not been sufficiently 'patient centred', or responsive to the needs of the patient on a case basis. It has been felt in care that it as been the patient who has had to adapt to the regime of care, rather than the other way around. Putting patients at the centre of care means being responsive to their needs and supporting them through the process of health care delivery.  Patients should not become identikit sausages in a production line. The nurses body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has responded to this challenge with a revised code of practice reflection get changes in health and social care since the previous code was published in 2008. The Code describes the professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives. Four themes describe what nurses and midwives are expected to do: prioritise people practise effectively preserve safety, and promote professionalism and trust. The

Mr Duncan-Smith offers a disingenuous and divisive comparison

Some time ago, actually it was a long time ago when I was in my early teens, someone close to me bought a table. It was an early flat pack variety. It came with a top and four legs. He followed the instructions to the letter screwing the legs into the top. But when he had completed it the table wobbled. One leg he explained was shorter than the other three; so he sawed a bit from each of the other legs. The table wobbled. One leg, he explained, was longer than the other three. So, he sawed a bit off. The table wobbled. He went on cutting the legs, but the table continued to wobble. Cut, cut, cut! By this time he had convinced himself there was no alternative to it.  He ended up with a very low table indeed, supported by four very stumpy legs and a bit of cardboard placed under one of them to stop it wobbling on the uneven floor.  Mr Duncan-Smith argues that we need a 1% cap on benefits to be 'fair to average earners'. Average  earners have seen their incomes rise by less tha