New measures to protect doctors when mistakes are made

New measures to protect doctors when mistakes are made

The BBC has reported that, in the UK, new measures designed to improve patient safety and protect doctors and nurses when mistakes are made will be announced by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

In 2011, Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba was found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of gross negligence and removed from the medical register after a child died, in part because of failings in his treatment. Hunt said that staff should be able to learn from their mistakes and hundreds of medics signed an open letter in support of Dr Bawa-Garba.

The BBC said that a government review was ordered by Hunt and new measures will be introduced, including: every hospital death will be investigated by a medical examiner or coroner; data on doctors' performance will allow them to see how they compare to others to help them improve; and the regulator, the General Medical Council, will no longer be able to appeal against the findings of doctors' disciplinary hearings.

"When something goes tragically wrong in healthcare, the best apology to grieving families is to guarantee that no-one will experience that same heartache again," said Hunt. "I was deeply concerned about the unintended chilling effect on clinicians' ability to learn from mistakes following recent court rulings ... the actions from this authoritative review will help us promise them that the NHS will support them to learn, rather than seek to blame."