RCoA responds to report on the Draft Health Service Safety Investigations Bill

Responding to the report from the Joint Committee on the Draft Health Service Safety Investigations Bill, Dr Liam Brennan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, said:

“We welcome this report and are particularly pleased that the Committee has endorsed the ‘safe space’ investigation approach. This will enable a serious incident inquiry to be undertaken in an open and honest learning environment, allowing issues that have led to errors in patient care being addressed in a constructive manner.

“We believe this will help facilitate greater transparency during discussions with patients and their families.

“With local serious incident inquiries being variable in quality, and sometimes leading to sub-optimal outcomes for patients, families and the healthcare professionals involved, we support the recommendation made by the Joint Committee to develop the Health Service Safety Investigations Body’s (HSSIB) role in training and setting standards for Trusts to carry out fair and compassionate investigations.

“Legislation plays a key role in accelerating change from a ‘blame’ culture to one that recognises that learning from, and responding to, errors when they do occur is fundamental to safer patient care. We welcome the robust and considered report from the Committee that concurs with this view.

“Despite the Committee’s conclusions, we continue to believe that legal protection of doctors’ reflections on their practice should be put into place and we will continue to make the case for this change."

02 August 2018