Dr Cicely Cunningham, DAUK’s Learn Not Blame lead will be speaking at this conference about a just culture hosted by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management Scotland and in partnership with the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
We are proud to announce that our Law and Policy Officer Dr Jenny Vaughan will be speaking at the Patient Safety Congress 2019. Since 2008, the Patient Safety Congress has been described as the UK's essential forum for those at the forefront of safety, quality improvement and clinical excellence. The Patient Safety Congress champions patient safety as the organising principle of a healthcare system which is truly efficient, effective and able to offer the best experience to patients and their families.
what have dauk been up to recently?
Dr Joanna Poole is an Anaesthetic trainee and a DAUK member. After sharing a blog on Twitter about wanting to quit medicine which went viral, Joanna has also been inundated with messages from fellow doctors who have found themselves in a similar situation. Now, Joanna has been invited to share her experiences with multiple Royal Colleges and Joanna is collating the responses she has received anonymously in the hope this will inspire a kinder NHS for our doctors. Joanna is a force for change and is a real example for what grassroots doctors can achieve when they speak up. We look forward to working with Joanna at DAUK.
“It’s not something we talk about or that everybody experiences to the same degree but I think most of us are affected, be it subconsciously or consciously by antiquated, competitive, hierarchical values. Revered doctors are those that work above and beyond the hours they are paid for, that come in even when they are sick, that prioritise work over their families, over sleep and their own health. Doctors that are kind and compassionate but that don’t allow themselves to be affected by their experiences. Doctors that would go from one cardiac arrest to the next without letting their judgement cloud or their actions falter.”
Since starting this campaign, I have often been asked the question: “What would success look like for Learn Not Blame?” To start with, I struggled to answer this question. There seemed to be many answers which applied in different situations. A world where front line staff who make mistakes are not thrown under a bus by their colleagues and organisations. A world where patients and families are heard, their questions answered, their desire for learning met. A world where doctors could go to work and know that their care was getting safer, because there was a commitment to listening to staff, acting on concerns and not repeating the mistakes of the past.
Blame in the NHS has been around a long time. Each of us will be familiar with everyday instances of blame being apportioned for things going wrong, near misses, and even when everything goes to plan but someone just doesn’t like the way it was done. But why do we do it?
It’s been a year now since my personal campaigning journey began – from a generally opinionated clinical oncology trainee to passionate advocate for a just culture in the NHS. The story began on 25th January 2018, when I was doing what many of us do of a normal evening – scrolling through social media on my phone. But instead of the usual fluffy animal pictures, something was afoot. All the doctors I knew on social media were up in arms about a court case where the General Medical Council (GMC) had pursued a paediatric trainee to seek her erasure from the medical register – Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba.
DAUK team blog about what they wish for leading up to Christmas.
2018 was the beginning of the Learn Not Blame campaign and what a year it was! From a phrase coined by the inimicable David Nicholl to a wave of nationwide outrage at the injustice of criminalisation of healthcare professionals for honest mistakes. Along with this outrage was the understanding that fear, blame and criminalisation of honest error – especially when made when working in a system under pressure – does nothing for patient safety. Yet too many NHS organisations are perpetuating a culture which allows this toxic mix to thrive, and patients are put at risk. The figures for avoidable harm in the NHS are staggering. And yet the pattern repeats.
The Doctors’ Association UK committee met with Charlie Massey, Chief Executive and Registrar of the GMC and Dr Colin Melville, Medical Director and Director of Education and Standards last week. We were clear to convey the anger and distrust the profession feel towards the GMC. During the meeting we covered a variety of subjects including issues raised by the Bawa-Garba case, continued appeal of MPTS decisions, weaponisation of GMC referrals, accountability of NHS managers, and mental health and wellbeing of doctors under investigation.
After month of campaigning by DAUK, the Health and Social Care Committee held an inquiry into gross negligence manslaughter. Dr Jenny Vaughan attended on behalf of DAUK. Read her report here: