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Blame culture curbs reports on safety incidents

A culture of blame still stops health care professionals from reporting patient safety incidents, a Department of Health expert told a conference in London last week.

Jane Moore, DoH director of health care quality said that the latest data from the Healthcare Commission, England’s health care watchdog, showed that harm to patients while in hospital was still a major problem.

In 2005-6, some 63% of organisations complied with all core safety standards, but this figure had fallen to 61% in 2006-7, according to data from the commission’s annual health check.

The commission also found that a similar number of independent sector providers had failed to meet national minimum standards on safety.

Speaking at the conference on risk and patient safety, organised by Healthcare Events, Dr Moore said: “We still blame individuals rather than look at what the causes of patient safety incidents are.

“This means people still find it difficult to report.”