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Clinicians will get legal protection for owning up to mistakes

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1480 (Published 10 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1480
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London

Clinicians have been promised legal protection from being prosecuted or disciplined if they speak up about mistakes made at work, under a new patient safety drive in England. The Department of Health’s plan will also create a team of expert medical examiners to review the cause of all NHS patient deaths.

Doctors’ leaders have welcomed the drive for better transparency, but they warned that the reforms must be properly resourced to overcome the current “oppressive, management driven culture in the NHS” that can deter openness.

England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced plans to improve NHS safety and transparency at a ministerial level global patient safety summit, held in London on 9 and 10 March. …

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