Learn Not Blame

Jenny Vaughan writes for the BMJ: Medical Manslaughter, will the findings of an independent review be a tipping point for change

Jenny Vaughan writes for the BMJ: Medical Manslaughter, will the findings of an independent review be a tipping point for change

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.

Guest Blog: Dr David Nicholl "How to Whistleblow " Part 2, Brexit - A Case Study.

Guest Blog: Dr David Nicholl "How to Whistleblow " Part 2, Brexit - A Case Study.

As a senior Consultant involved in a number of national organisations, I found myself, in March of this year, in the unusual situation of being asked to advise NHS England in March as part of their preparations for a ‘No Deal Brexit’ scenario for pharmaceuticals in neurology. I was aware, from the media, that a large number of non-disclosure agreements had been signed (even though NDAs were meant to have been banned in the NHS some years ago). Thus, I took the precaution of speaking to my medical defence organisation prior to agreeing to participate. As it happened, when asked to assist, I was not asked to sign an NDA, but asked not to share any of the password protected documents without permission. At the time I was happy to do this- ultimately someone has to get the country ready in the event of a ‘No Deal’, even though numerous bodies had warned about the risks of No Deal in healthcare- from the Royal College of Physicians, the Chief Medical Officer and even my own hospital Trust had warned of the patient safety risks. However although the ‘No Deal’ plans were extensive, I became increasingly uncomfortable

A just culture for the NHS: Cicely Cunningham writes...

A just culture for the NHS: Cicely Cunningham writes...

 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.

Me? I'm just an ordinary doctor... Cicely Cunningham writes

Me? I'm just an ordinary doctor... Cicely Cunningham writes

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. 

What next for Learn Not Blame in 2019? Cicely Cunningham writes...

What next for Learn Not Blame in 2019? Cicely Cunningham writes...

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.

"What has the GMC learnt?" DAUK asks Charlie Massey

"What has the GMC learnt?" DAUK asks Charlie Massey

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.

"What is stopping you doing something that is patently sensible?" says Rosie Cooper MP to Charlie Massey: Jenny Vaughan reports on the HSC inquiry.

"What is stopping you doing something that is patently sensible?" says Rosie Cooper MP to Charlie Massey: Jenny Vaughan reports on the HSC inquiry.

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: