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?
It’s been a busy in Medical Manslaughter land. I attach my DAUK commentary on the medical Manslaughter review out recently.
Five years ago, when I first started doing the appeal for David Sellu ( check out his new book “ Did He Save Lives? “via Foyles and Waterstones) I never dreamt of a day like this. A whole review has now essentially concluded that if any doctor is being lined up for criminal charges, it will now be expected that the setting in which they work will be equally scrutinised and that experts will have to consider if human factors like stress or fatigue were more to blame. All I could see then was darkness, a toxic hospital with its knives out and judgemental expert witnesses. Now we have moved forward and all of us here at DAUK applaud Leslie Hamilton and his panel for such an excellent set of 29 recommendations.
The lesson for me, is to follow the process ie where you have a legitimate patient safety concern... but I can legitimately say that I took all reasonable steps before going to the media. If I had got one piece of this puzzle wrong, my opponents would have had a field day.
Amandip Sidhu is a Learn Not Blame member and pharmacist. Tragically, Amandip lost his brother, a respected Consultant Cardiologist to suicide just a few months ago. In this heartbreaking and powerful guest blog for DAUK and the Compassionate Culture campaign, Amandip reflects on the “just get on with it” attitude of the NHS, and how we must move to kinder NHS that treats it’s staff with much needed compassion.
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?