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#GPnews: Hunt announces ‘learning from mistakes’ league

15:40 Pulse blogger Dr Pete Deveson has some advice for the health secretary this afternoon, after the announcement that health professionals should feel safe to point out when things are going wrong:

15:30 A couple of big stories breaking on Pulse this afternoon.

First, NHS England has said it is investing £55m into incentivising commissioners and providers to move to e-referrals. By 2018, it aims to remove postal referrals entirely, it says. 

Second, the GMC has launched its own review into revalidation, focusing on doctors’ experiences of revalidation, which will make recommendations for changes during 2017.

13:45 Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced in Parliament today that the Government will be setting up a league table for trusts based on how well they learn from their mistakes.

He claims that 150 hospital deaths a week are preventable, which can be helped by ’openness and transparency about where problems exist, and a true learning culture to put them right’.

Other industries, such as the airline and nuclear industry, have learnt the importance of developing a learning culture, he says. But, in health, ’too often the fear of litigation or professional consequences inhibits the openness and transparency we need if we are to learn from mistakes’.

As a result, he has announced measures to give legal protection to those who speak honestly to Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch investigators. The results will be shared with patients and families, but won’t be used for litigation, he said. 

He addedL ’Today NHS Improvement has also published a Learning from Mistakes ranking of NHS Trusts. This draws on data from the staff survey and safety incident reporting data to show which trusts have the best reporting culture and which ones need to be better at supporting staff who wish to raise concerns.

’This will be updated every year in a new CQC State of Hospital Quality report that will also contain trusts’ own annual estimates of their avoidable mortality rates and have a strong focus on learning and improvement.’

11:15 More than 1,300 new cases of female genital mutilation were reported by medical staff at hospitals, GP surgeries and mental health centres between October and December last year, official data shows.

Out of the 1,316 new identified victims of the illegal practice, which includes surgically removing part of the female genitalia:

  • Almost half (45%) were in London;
  • 35 were girls under 18;
  • 11 were born in the UK;
  • More than a third were born in Somalia.

Tanya Barron, CEO of global children’s charity Plan UK, told the Daily Mail: ’More needs to be done both here in the UK and abroad to stop this fundamental human rights abuse.

‘Only by empowering millions of girls and young women around the world with quality education and other support will we end FGM once and for all.’

11:00 Plenty of people tweeting from the picket lines today.

Here’s a couple from London…

…a Mexican wave in, er, Newcastle…

… and a cold and wet Sheffield

10:50 A bizarre story on theBBC this morning, from Vietnam. A rare case of twins with different fathers.

The twins had their DNA tested after their family noticed they looked different, said local reports.

There are less than ten known occurances of heteropaternal superfecundation, happens when a woman’s eggs are fertilised by two men within a short period of time.

9:25 Our lead this morning is a report from the influential House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, which accuses the DH and NHS England of ’complacency’ around pressures faced by GPs.

It follows our second story from yesterday – the pay review body report, which warns that practice funding could decrease if the Government is successful in meeting their target of introducing an extra 5,000 GPs into the system by 2020.

08:05 Good morning. We are starting the live blog just as the third period of strike action by junior doctors begins across England. An Ipsos MORI poll out today shows that public support is holding up for the juniors, with the majority of the public (57%) blaming the Government. Here are all the dates for the next set of action:

  • 8am on Wednesday 9 March to 8am on Friday 11 March
  • 8am on Wednesday 6 April to 8am on Friday 8 April
  • 8am on Tuesday 26 April to 8am on Thursday 28 April

Over each of these 48-hour periods, junior doctors will offer emergency care only. If you are a GP trainee taking strike action today, do send over a picture to

junior doctors support stable

junior doctors support stable