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Being Open Suzette Woodward Director of Patient Safety Strategy NPSA July 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Being Open Suzette Woodward Director of Patient Safety Strategy NPSA July 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Being Open Suzette Woodward Director of Patient Safety Strategy NPSA July 2008

2 Being open Communicating with patients and carers after patient safety incidents

3 What is Being open? Being open involves apologising and explaining what happened to patients who have been harmed as a result of a patient safety incident. It encompasses communications between healthcare professionals, patients and their carers.

4 The Australian open disclosure project The project found that patients wanted:  to be told about patient safety incidents which affect them;  acknowledgement of the distress that they suffered;  a sincere and compassionate statement of regret;  a factual explanation of what happened;  a clear plan about what can be done medically to redress or repair the harm done.

5 Being open: ‘Sorry Works!’ ‘Sorry Works!’ is the US Being open programme - it found:  that it removes anger and actually reduces the chances of litigation and costly defence litigation bills;  that it worked successfully in organisations like the University of Michigan Hospital system, Stanford Medical Center, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, and the VA Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.

6 Making amends  34% want an apology or explanation;  23% want an inquiry into the causes;  17% want support to cope with the consequences;  11% want financial compensation;  6% want disciplinary action. DH survey interviewed 8,000 members of the public:

7 Duty of candour “If a patient under your care has suffered serious harm, through misadventure or any other reason, you should act immediately to put it right, if possible. You should explain fully to the patient what has happened and the likely short and long term effects. When appropriate you should offer an apology.” GMC, Good Medical Practice Guide Making Amends and General Medical Council emphasise the importance of a duty of candour:

8 Being open and litigation “It seems to us that it is both natural and desirable for those involved in treatment which produces an adverse result, for whatever reason, to sympathise with the patient and the patient’s relatives and to express sorrow and regret at the outcome. Such expressions of regret would not normally constitute an admission of liability, either in part or full, and it is not our policy to prohibit them, or to dispute any payment, under any scheme, solely on the grounds of such an expression of regret.” NHSLA NHSLA and Welsh Risk Pool support openness and honesty with patients:

9 Being open toolkit  Policy and safer practice notice: what to say, who should say it and when;  Video based training programme: case studies to demonstrate communicating about incidents groups of 16 – using actors to role play scenarios  E-learning

10  If the apology does not come early the patient/family may be more angry.  An apology is better than an expression of sympathy.  Being prepared is essential.  It’s easy to get caught up in explaining the process and not answering the family’s questions.  The language you use may be meaningless to the patient and/or family.  Don’t inadvertently attribute blame. Learning points

11 Actions for healthcare organisations  Develop and implement a local Being open policy  Identify local Being open leads and clinicians to attend Being open training workshops  Raise awareness of the Being open e-learning locally and ensure staff have access to it

12 Ten key principles Discussion

13 Being Open Suzette Woodward Director of Patient Safety Strategy NPSA July 2008

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