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Report tracks further progress in improving patient safety

Monday, 12 March 2018

An update on work to implement recommendations of a landmark UK report on patient safety will be presented to Tynwald this month.  

A public inquiry into serious failings by the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was ordered in 2010. Robert Francis QC’s inquiry lasted three years and resulted in 290 recommendations. 

An Isle of Man working group subsequently concluded 233 of the Francis recommendations were relevant here. A report charting progress in a number of areas of the National Health and Care Service will be laid before March Tynwald by the DHSC Minister David Ashford MHK. 

It outlines how the DHSC’s five year strategy, adopted in 2015 is addressing the fundamental recommendation of the Francis Report: that a patient-centred culture based on shared core values and standards should be at the heart of health services. 

The DHSC captured its corporate ethos in the CARE values project, launched in 2017. The acronym spells out the values desired of staff: committed, appreciative, respectful and excellent. CARE values set out the behaviours and expectations for all levels of staff, including directors and the chief executive, and are consistently presented to the workforce and all new starters. 

The report gives an update on nursing and midwifery training and revalidation, reflecting a call by Francis that nurses’ professional development should rise up the agenda. 

Developments in the care of elderly people recommended by Francis are also progressing well. These include the opening of a new acute mental health inpatient facility at Manannan Court and the introduction of a dementia policy and pathway for diagnosis, treatment and care of patients. 

Other areas of progress in the report include: 

  • Patient, public and local scrutiny: DHSC officials and politicians make regular visits to health and social care facilities, while patients are given a voice through consultative groups and new ‘sounding board’ events.
  • Regulation of standards: options on the introduction of an independent health regulator have been drawn up. External reviews continue to be commissioned from bodies including the West Midlands Quality Review Service (WMQRS) and the Care Inspectorate of Scotland. 

Minister Ashford said:

‘It was essential the conclusions and recommendations of the Francis report were thoroughly considered in an Isle of Man context.  This report shows we have fully embraced the spirit of Francis by making improvements both at strategic level and on the ground.’  

Further work is needed in the area of information gathering, to improve and monitor services for patients and ensure timely publication of waiting list data. The DHSC’s digital strategy will provide the data and statistics needed to measure performance against standards.   

A recommendation that there should be a Code of Conduct for NHS managers is addressed in the National Health and Care Service Charter which will be laid before Tynwald later this year. 

Elsewhere, the DHSC has committed to improving the way complaints are handled, by introducing a standardised single complaints system. The DHSC publishes an annual report on complaints and outcomes, the latest will be laid before March Tynwald.

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