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Anger over Stafford should be turned into action

13th March 2013

Anger over the Stafford hospital scandal should be turned into action, according to the man leading a review of patient safety in the NHS.

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Professor Don Berwick has been commissioned by the government to introduce a “zero-harm culture” into English hospitals and will report on his initial findings by July.

The former health adviser to President Obama says he understands the anger of relatives who lost loved ones at the hospital between 2005 and 2008 – many of whom want to see NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson resign – but he believes the best legacy of the Stafford scandal would be “a healed and better NHS in the future.”

Refusing to be drawn on calls for Sir David to step down, he added: “My heart bleeds for these patients and families - I would say to them I know you're angry, I'm angry too - and yes proper inquiries and accountability of course we need to provide that.

“But we need to remember the best testimonial to the suffering of you and your family would be a healed and better NHS in the future.”

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston, which he founded, conducted an earlier internal review for the NHS, where it found a “shame and blame” culture.

 

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