Learn Not Blame


Learn Not Blame
Our campaign for a just culture in the NHS

Learn Not Blame is DAUK’s central campaign launched in Parliament on 20th November 2018. We aim to empower individual doctors to be part of a transformational change process working towards a revolution in the culture of the NHS.

For too long, when things go wrong, the blame culture has prevailed. This is endemic both within the profession and NHS organisations more widely, often without genuine analysis of systemic failings, or learning from what happened. Recent high profile cases have illustrated just how toxic this blame culture can be. In this campaign, we are coming together to say: enough. This has to stop.

What we need is a just culture in the NHS, where every individual – whether patient or staff – is valued and cared for. We need to develop a culture that celebrates success and the good work of thousands of professionals, but one that also acknowledges and learns in a constructive and fair manner when things go wrong.

Through the ‘Learn Not Blame’ campaign, we are committed to creating a better culture that promotes learning from adverse events and prioritises fairness, openness and the wellbeing of both patients and health care professionals. This can only happen by the creation of a just culture for all. We seek to empower doctors – and all those working in the NHS regardless of role – to do what they can within their own sphere of influence to ensure meaningful change and to create a better NHS to work in – and a better NHS for patients.

Learn Not Blame in the news

DAUK in the Guardian: Doctors warn ‘culture of fear’ in NHS could prevent whistleblowing

Doctors have warned that a “culture of fear” in the NHS may prevent life-saving lessons being learned about Covid-19 after a leading hospital consultant emailed scores of staff saying those responsible for “leaks” would be found and fired.

“Communications like this instil fear and are toxic,” said Dr Jenny Vaughan, law and policy officer at Doctors Association UK, said. “When things go wrong we have to make sure lessons are learned, and we have to feel able to speak up. It is always important to support staff who have concerns about safety and not make them feel they are working in a culture of fear.”

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DAUK in the BMJ: doctors launch judicial review over PPE failures

Doctors have launched judicial review proceedings after the government decided not to open an inquiry into failures to provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers. On 8 June, the Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK), in conjunction with the Good Law Project, a not-for-profit membership organisation, and elder abuse charity Hourglass, instructed solicitors to start the legal challenge.

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