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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2001): Medical Professions - UK - Regulations

BLOWING THE WHISTLE

Anon

Health Which? Apr. 2001, p.16-17

Discusses guidance issued in 1999 by the Department of Health aimed at protecting whistle blowers who expose bad practice in the NHS.

BUILDING A SAFER NHS FOR PATIENTS

Department of Health

London: 2001

Proposes that all procedures during which a patient would be greatly endangered by a mistake should be identified. In these cases staff would be trained to read off a check list before starting the procedure. Sets targets for dealing with four problem areas:

  • eradication by the end of the current financial year of all blunders with spinal injections;
  • elimination by 2002 of suicides by hanging in hospital wards of mentally ill patients;
  • reduction by 25% of harm from birth complications that result in litigation by 2005;
  • reduction by 40% of serious errors in the use of prescribed drugs by 2005.

A new National Patient Safety Agency will be set up to oversee investigations into all problems reported to it and medical "near misses" will also be analysed and lessons learned.

ESTABLISHING THE NEW NURSING AND MIDWIFERY COUNCIL

Department of Health

London: 2001

Draft order outlining the creation of slimmed down regulatory bodies for nurses and midwives, and for professions allied to medicine. The primary purpose of the new bodies is the protection of the public. The new nursing council will consist of 23 members, made up of 12 professionals and 11 lay representatives. There will be a broader definition of unfitness to practise, together with a tougher armoury of sanctions ranging from striking off to suspension or caution.

PLANE SPEAKING

L. Donnelly

Health Service Journal, vol. 111, Apr. 26th 2001, p.12-13

Discusses proposals for the creation of the National Patient Safety Agency which will provide a mandatory system for logging all failures, mistakes, errors, and near-misses across the health service and will ensure lessons are learned and good practice spread.