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NHS rated on open and honest reporting culture in world leading transparency drive


Sir Robert Francis launches new review into NHS reporting culture to make it easier for NHS staff to speak up.

New data published today will for the first time allow the public the opportunity to compare key safety measures across hundreds of NHS trusts in England.


It shows that the vast majority of NHS hospitals are rated as "good” or "ok” for their reporting culture. However, around one in five acute trusts, or 20 per cent have been rated as "poor” for open and honest reporting, underlining the need to support NHS staff to report and raise safety concerns.


The data has been published as the Health Secretary outlined a package of measures to ensure the NHS remains one of the safest healthcare systems in the world:

  • Sir Robert Francis QC, will lead a review Freedom and Responsibility to Speak Up: An Independent Review into Creating an Open & Honest Reporting Culture in the NHS, to consider what further action is necessary to protect NHS workers who speak out in the public interest and help to create the kind of open culture that is needed to ensure safe care for patients.
  •  NHS Choices safety website: a new microsite which gives patients, regulators and staff unprecedented safety data. The seven safety indicators will allow people to look at safety and staffing data across the country, driving up competition and standards.
  •  Launch of the Sign up to Safety campaign: Sir David Dalton, Chief Executive of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust will lead a major patient safety campaign which aims to halve avoidable harm, and in doing so save up to 6,000 lives over the next three years. Following the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry, the Government introduced major reforms to the NHS. Today’s measures will build on these and help create an open culture that will improve patient safety and give staff the confidence to know that they will be supported and listened to.


Last week, the Commonwealth Fund released a study that ranked the UK 1st in the world for quality of care, including safety. However healthcare systems around the world continue to have high levels of avoidable harm. Tackling unsafe care and avoidable harm such as medication errors, blood clots and bed sores will not only improve patient outcomes but will save the NHS money that can be reinvested into patient care. A 2007 study estimated the cost of adverse events due to medication errors was £774 million per year and the NHS currently spends around £1.3 billion per year on litigation claims.


Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said:


"Globally, the levels of avoidable harm in health care are shocking. The NHS is already leading the way on safety, more than 300 people suffered as a result of some of the most serious types of preventable harm last year. Today’s campaign will go further and aims to save thousands of lives.


"We have come a long way since Mid Staffordshire, however there are too many cases where NHS staff who have raised concerns about safety have been ignored. Today we have introduced measures to help tackle this head on.

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