NHS Report calls for a ‘just and learning culture’
31st July, 2019

Written by

Adrian Denson - Chief Legal Officer

An NHS report has been published which aims to promote ‘a just and learning culture’ in an organisation where people take ‘responsibility for actions’. The report, ‘Being Fair’, sets out the argument for organisations within the NHS to adopt a much more reflective approach to learning from incidents and supporting staff and patients.

NHS Resolution, which has published the report, says that it is not about seeking to blame
individuals when care goes wrong, but it does tackle how to deal with concerns
about a professional’s practice.

This report is welcomed by Patient Claim Line, one of the country’s leading medical negligence solicitors, as it encourages an open culture where people have the right to answers.

Adrian Denson, Chief Legal Officer, said:

“It seems that the paper is intended to change the culture of how staff are treated within NHS organisations when things go wrong. It advises that staff should be supported when mistakes are made and organisations are encouraged to engender a learning
culture rather than a blame culture.

“In turn, this should encourage greater openness; the paper accepts that a significant change in mindset and attitudes is required for this to happen. It emphasises that patients have the right to seek apologies, answers and compensation where appropriate.

“We agree that for patients to really be placed at the heart of the process when things go wrong, and to receive the redress that they deserve, there must be an open culture within all NHS organisations that embraces learning rather than focusing on blame.”

The report is from the NHS Resolution, formerly The NHS Litigation Authority.

You can read the full report here: https://resolution.nhs.uk/resources/being-fair/