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Why we need a plan to shift individual blame culture

Will rethinking the concept of accountability shift the individual blame culture in the NHS?

Will rethinking the concept of accountability shift the individual blame culture in the NHS?

Every year across the world an estimated one million patients die in hospitals because of avoidable clinical mistakes. There is no doubt that much progress has been made in improving the NHS safety culture since the Francis report into the care of patients at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Culture of blame

For instance, according to the Health Foundation, the proportion of patients being harmed in the NHS has dropped by more than one third in the past three years. One of the reasons for this is the drive for openness and candour when things go wrong.

The problem is far too often an individual is blamed and opportunities for learning missed. Blame cultures need to become learning cultures now but the problem is,

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