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Eight ways to make NHS safer, says Morecambe Bay campaigner

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The father of a baby that died at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust has written to the health secretary with a list of “eight ways to make the NHS safer”.

James Titcombe’s son Joshua died in 2008 in the maternity unit at Furness Hospital, which is currently at the centre of a number of investigations over care failings and unnecessary deaths.

Mr Titcombe, now a patient safety campaigner, has drawn up a list of key innovations that he believes should be introduced to make the NHS safer, based on his experience as a nuclear engineer.

He has shared the list with Nursing Times and brought it to the attention of Jeremy Hunt and also Stephen Dorrell, chair of the health select Commons’ committee.  

It includes the introduction of an NHS Safety Culture Accreditation Scheme, whereby trusts could apply to an independent organisation for a safety culture accreditation certificate.

Mr Titcombe also suggests the development of a specific patient safety qualification for NHS staff, training in ergonomics, and clear minimum standards for investigating all serious untoward incidents.

A central patient safety knowledge hub, like the Health and Safety Executive for industry, should be created for the NHS, staff should have protected patient safety awareness days and there should be an independent panel to give whistleblower’s the right make a full protected disclosure.

Lastly he said trusts should be required to publish key patient safety information, including the number of specialist patient safety staff employed and staff-to-patient ratios at ward level.

Mr Titcombe has also written an opinion piece in Nursing Times this week on patient safety culture in the NHS.

Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • More than three weeks since this story was published and not a single comment. How indicative is that of grass roots concern for patient safety?

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