Rapid responses are electronic letters to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on thebmj.com. Although a selection of rapid responses will be included online and in print as readers' letters, their first appearance online means that they are published articles. If you need the url (web address) of an individual response, perhaps for citation purposes, simply click on the response headline and copy the url from the browser window. Letters are indexed in PubMed.
Any indication that the NHS is becoming a more transparent
organisation with a open reporting culture is to be applauded.
However i have to say as a houseman that there is a dearth of
understanding of this process in the hospital frontlines. With 'incident
reports' either being a means of drawing a line under an episode and
therefore limiting opportunities for localised resolution of difficulties
or indeed being used as a threat between different departments,
specialities and even staff. Substituting an open culture with a blame
Another issue is that on a local basis it is difficult to see how
incident reports are moulding guidelines and informing future practice,
although i am sure that valuable information is being gleaned about system
errors across the NHS on a national basis.
No competing interests
12 October 2009
FY2 Doctor, Paediatrics.
Darent Valley Hospital, Darenth Wood Road, Dartford, Kent DA2 8DA