Hunt: Mid Staffs scandal 'a turning point like Chernobyl'
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has compared the scandal at Mid Staffs hospital to the Chernobyl and Bhopal disasters, in an interview with ITV News. He claimed both were "turning points" for their industries.
I worry that I have heard this before from Governments without any real progress being made.
Safety is about having the right numbers of staff and high-performing teams working together to deliver the best care, and this is crucial if we are to deliver safe maternity care.
Safety also needs NHS staff being treated properly with trusts promoting open, honest and caring cultures if they are to get the best out of them; you can only have candour if staff feel their concerns will be listened to, they are treated with compassion and that they will be given the support they need.
Speaking at the Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, Jeremy Hunt outlined plans to revise the legal threshold at which hospitals have to inform patients and suggested those at the lower end of the scale would not be told.
The Government caused outrage last November when it said the duty of candour should mean patients and families are only told of harm if it results in death or severe disability.
However, in his speech, Mr Hunt outlined plans aimed at reducing the £1.3 billion the NHS annually spends on litigation and saving 6,000 lives over the next three years.
He said NHS organisations will be invited to "sign up to safety" and set out publicly their ambitious plans for reducing avoidable harm, such as medication errors, blood clots and bed sores.