Trust backs new safety measures

Wigan Infirmary
Wigan Infirmary

WIGAN’S hospital trust says it is committed to transparency in the wake of claims that one in five hospital trusts are covering up mistakes.

It comes after Department of Health figures found 29 out of 141 trusts were not registering the expected number of safety incidents.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was important hospitals were ‘open and honest’, and that patients had a right to know about problems with reporting.

However, bosses at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) say they have already implemented such safeguards against cover ups.

Linda Smyth head of qality improvement said: “The programme is completely voluntary and we are absolutely delighted at the uptake.

“Quality Champions are supported to develop skills in quality and safety improvement through a dedicated training course which is extremely popular with staff. The initiative is open to everyone regardless of their position in the organisation and we actively encourage staff to sign up and put forward their ideas for improvement. We then support them into putting these ideas into action.

“Staff that have already completed the training range from consultants and executive directors to more junior clinical staff. However, the scheme is not just about clinical staff making a difference; many champions come from an admin and clerical or estates and facilities background.”

On Tuesday the government launched the next stage of this campaign, a website which will allow patients to view the performance of individual hospitals on measures such as safe staffing levels and infection rates.

It also reveals which trusts have been given a poor rating for open and honest reporting. This has been decided after reviewing the way trusts report safety incidents into the National Report and Learning System as well as looking at the results of the staff survey question relating to safety reporting.

WWL have welcomed the move.