What is Learn Not Blame?

Learn Not Blame is DAUK’s exciting new campaign, which will be launched over the coming months. We aim to empower individual doctors to be part of a transformational change process working towards a revolution in the culture of the NHS.

We need a culture of learning, not of blame and persecution. We need a culture of compassion and care for all who are served by it and all who work in it. A culture where mistakes and harm are prevented by openness, listening and learning. And where mistakes and harm do happen, change, not blame, is the outcome. A just culture. This is the only way we will see a real improvement in patient safety.

This campaign has been born out of a growing awareness amongst clinicians of how a toxic mix of defensiveness and concern for reputation management above all else can lead to blame-seeking culture. This is bad for doctors and worse still for patient safety.

Most patients and families, when things go wrong in healthcare, just want to know honestly what happened and make sure that the same thing never happens to anyone else. But many people face a brick wall when seeking answers from NHS organisations, and get pushed into an adversarial complaints procedure, or even litigation.

Equally, staff who raise concerns often find themselves the subject of counter-accusations, victimisation and blame, instead of having their concerns acted upon. Staff are forced into a formal whistleblowing procedure, where the ensuing legal action may bankrupt them and ruin their careers.

This campaign aims to bring doctors together to say – enough. This has to stop.

The campaign will encourage individuals to commit to action within their own sphere of influence, and join together as a movement to put pressure on NHS leadership to mirror that change and commit at a Trust or Health Board level to an open, learning and just culture.

Look out for more details coming soon, and how YOU can be the change.