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Culture of ‘Zero Harm’ to be set-out for NHS

Former adviser to US President to announce safety review

Jo Carlowe

Tuesday, 06 August 2013

Plans for a culture of “zero harm” in the NHS are due to be unveiled by a leading expert on patient safety.

Professor Don Berwick, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, has been conducting a safety review of English Hospitals at the request of Prime Minister David Cameron.

Professor Berwick was enlisted for his expertise following the Stafford Hospital scandal. His work in other countries has focused on creating systems of openness with a willingness to learn from mistakes - much like the aviation industry, where attempts have been made to design systems that reduce the chances of mistakes.

Speaking to the BBC in March after his appointment, Prof Berwick, had said the "best testimonial to the suffering" at Stafford would be a “healed and better” NHS.

The anticipated review has been welcomed by the campaign group Action Against Medical Accidents which described the report as “really important”.

However, the Patients Association has commented that it’s time for less talk and more action.

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