Berwick report does not “trump” Francis

Published: 6 Aug 2013

The report on patient safety by Prof Don Berwick published today is welcome, in as far as it goes, but must not be used as an excuse to avoid recommendations from the Francis report following Mid Staffs, which the Government may be uncomfortable with. Professor Berwick and his committee’s report was pulled together in a short period of time. It provides a philosophical overview of the need for a culture aspiring to “zero harm”. Whilst it provides some useful ideas, it lacks the rigour of the public inquiry following Mid Staffs and should certainly not be seen as “trumping” the Francis report. Where it does disagree with Francis’s recommmendations, it does not provide any detailed analysis or evidence to support the opinion espoused. Unless a credible evidence based argument can be made otherwise, which has the confidence of patients, the Governemnt should get on with implementing theĀ Francis recommendations as a matter of urgency. A more detailed commentary will be available shortly.