Skip to content

THIS Institute responds to Health and Social Care Committee expert panel report

THIS Institute welcomes the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee’s expert panel report examining the government’s progress on meeting patient safety recommendations.
Sarah Clark
Sarah Clark
Research Communications Manager
Illustration of a group of three people with speech bubbles

A report published today by the Health and Social Care Committee warns that government action to improve patient safety ‘requires improvement.’

The ‘requires improvement’ rating applies to five recommendations made by independent inquiries and reviews into major patient safety issues going back to 2013 that the Government has pledged to act upon. The recommendations for improvement cover maternity care and leadership, staff training, and safety culture. 

The rating reflects the conclusion that the Government, in some cases, has taken too long to fully implement recommendations accepted nine or more years ago. While the Government assured the panel that some progress was “imminent”, the panel said it remained concerned about the lack of ‘real action’. In two cases, the guidance or legislation that was promised to implement recommendations has been delayed.

Professor Graham Martin, Director of Research at THIS Institute said: “Problems relating to patient safety and quality of care are not new, and they are not unique to the NHS. But it is deeply worrying to see a declining percentage of NHS staff who feel safe raising concerns about patient safety. Around two-fifths of staff say that they would not be confident that they would be treated fairly if they raised concerns about quality or safety.

“Our research on organisational culture, voice and patient safety demonstrates that some concerns may be easier to raise than others. A particular problem relates to concerns where there’s some ambiguity, and people are unsure how real the problem is, how serious it is, or whether it’s up to them to raise it. Yet issues of this kind, which are often to do with culture and behaviour, can have a major impact on patient safety. This has important implications for the approach that organisations should take towards nurturing cultures of safety and learning.”

Sign up to receive the latest news, reports and articles from THIS Institute.