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Francis intervention on NHS management safety scrutiny welcomed

The Hospital Consultants & Specialists Association, the only TUC-affiliated professional association and union dedicated solely to post-foundation hospital doctors, has today welcomed Sir Robert Francis QC’s intervention in the HSJ on the issue of patient safety.

In particular HCSA firmly supports his call for greater accountability for senior healthcare managers in our NHS.

HCSA President Professor Ross Welch said: “The prospect of senior management facing regulation on the same basis as clinicians would be welcomed by hospital doctors, who have long been concerned that the current system can lead to punitive treatment of individual clinicians for incidents or complaints actually resulting from decisions taken further up the chain.

"HCSA believes that this is a growing risk to our members given the intense pressure now being placed on hospitals to reduce costs.

“When financial targets become the mantra corners are cut, leadership loses clinical focus, and this increases the risks of systemic threats to patient welfare and safety.

“We also support Sir Robert’s proposed reforms to the investigation of complaints and clinical incidents so that intense and often debilitating individual pressure faced by clinicians at the centre of such probes is moderated, the vast NHS litigation bill is reduced, and patients feel that their concerns have been properly listened to.

“We trust that senior policy-makers will be listening to these proposals from such an eminent voice.”