General Article The Francis Report: right diagnosis but will the treatment work?

Topic Selected: National Health
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‘We have still not moved away from a culture of blame’. So says Robert Francis in his erudite, if voluminous, report into the failings at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust published earlier today.
He gets straight to the point in his report. The culture of the NHS still has too many negative aspects to it:

  • a lack of openness to criticism
  • a lack of consideration for patients
  • defensiveness
  • looking inwards not outwards
  • secrecy
  • misplaced assumptions about the judgements and actions of others
  • an acceptance of poor standards
  • and a failure to put the patient first in everything that is done.

All this must change, he quite rightly states.
He has some excellent ideas for how this can be achieved. Mercifully, he makes it clear he does not believe that structural change is the answer. He states it is unlikely that any structural change could enhance patient safety and goes on to make the telling point that within any system, of whatever design, there needs to be a relentles...

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