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How well is the NHS in England doing at improving openness about quality of care?

In the late 2000s, sustained shortcomings in the quality of care provided at Stafford Hospital hit the headlines. Reviews, investigations and two judicial inquiries followed, revealing significant issues in the practices, culture and organisation of the hospital. At the heart of these issues were problems of openness: insufficient effort to examine information about quality of care, failure to learn from mistakes, and a preference for self-reassurance over critical scrutiny.

But Stafford wasn’t the only hospital with problems of openness. In the 2010s, the government introduced a wide range of policies designed to support and encourage openness across the English NHS. The Department of Health and Social Care commissioned a multidisciplinary team led by Graham Martin to evaluate how these measures were affecting NHS organisations’ policies, actions and culture around openness.

Watch our Director of Research, Professor Graham Martin, talk about improving the openness of the NHS at the NHS Providers Governance and Quality Conference 2021:

Related content from our open-access series, Elements of Improving Quality and Safety in Healthcare

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