Echoes of Hillsborough

In his speech to the Improving Patient Safety and Care 2019 conference today, the Secretary of State gave much deserved praise to our two-time Academy of Fabulous NHS Stuff Champion Organisation, Princess Alexander Hospital in Harlow for their handling of mistakes and their behavioural code.  (You can find out much more about their culture and what they are doing on the Fab NHS Stuff Website) . Unfortunately, having name-checked the brilliant, Hancock’s speech lost its shine.

He rightly highlights the issue of rapidly growing claims against the NHS, with £2bn a year being paid out, but offers no ideas on resolving this such as adopting a New Zealand style approach to litigation, or pegging the cost of compensation to public, rather than private care. He goes on to reiterate the commitment to having medical examiners or coroners look at every death, but makes no pronouncement on how we will find the additional medics to care for the dead when we haven’t enough to care for the living.

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