Main Content

“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee


One year on from Francis

Apr 01. till Apr 01.

Invitation Only Event

Hosted by: Jeremy Lefroy MP

Guest Speakers:
Kate Fawcett, Chief Nurse, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
Alex Baylis, Head of Acute Sector Policy, CQC

April 1, 20142014-04-01T03:00:00 - April 1, 2014 2014-04-01T04:30:00
3:00 PM 2014-04-01T03:00:00 - 4:30 PM 2014-04-01T04:30:00
Portcullis House, Westminster


What do quality, honesty and patient participation look like in 2014?

Regulators are busy setting up guidance and responding as organisations to the Francis Report. How can we assure the public that things will be better on the ground? How will patients feel safer?

Is everyone involved in the healthcare sector thinking about proactively improving the quality of care in the future, or is it going to become another tick box exercise?

In a recent conversation on the top five priorities of NHS Trust Chief Execs, quality did not feature. With the average tenure of a CEO now only 18 months, do they actually have the time to improve patient safety?

Is the extra scrutiny by the Regulators actually going to deliver? Something deeper and more pervasive needs to be changed in the culture of the NHS. With the example of the duty of candour, it is clear that making ‘candour’ a contractual obligation certainly gets staff to sign on the dotted line, but does not instantly translate into a working culture.

From the Francis Report, the public were made aware of an attitude within the NHS towards staff that was described as bullying, repressive, and more focussed on end of year accounts than listening to staff concerns over patient care. In the last year, what moves have been made to steer the culture of the NHS back on track?

The sense of the NHS as a members club has also been flagged up—something that staff are fiercely loyal to, and anyone daring to step out of line and criticise the system will be ostracised and punished. As a service provider, the NHS should be loyal to its patients, and demanding that each patient gets the best care. But also as an employer, the NHS should be loyal to its staff, and ensuring that they are comfortable, confident and supported from the front lines to the top offices.

The question now, therefore, is have we done enough to start the ball rolling to repair the damage done to public confidence, and establish the necessary changes to the system.

Questions to consider:
1. Does the regulatory response by the professional bodies and other NHS regulators hit the mark?
2. How to prevent ‘quality’ becoming a ‘cover your backside’ approach, ignoring the moral and ethical questions that arise e.g. an elderly person declining to drink?
3. Who is best paced to say what quality is and how do we help the public understand what is meant by quality.
4. What is the difference between quality care and high quality care and how do we define it?
5. How can we ensure that highlighting issues is seen as a positive move for change, and not a betrayal? What are the implications of whistle-blowing now – do we need to call it something else?
6. What should patients be doing? What kind of participation should patients expect to have?