‘Significant concerns’ raised in Learning from Mistakes league – but East and North Herts NHS Trust says staff performance is rated highly

The Lister Hospital in Stevenage, which is run by the East and North Herts NHS Trust.

The Lister Hospital in Stevenage, which is run by the East and North Herts NHS Trust. - Credit: Archant

There are ‘significant concerns’ over the effectiveness of procedures for reporting mistakes and unsafe clinical practice at the NHS trust which runs Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

A new Learning from Mistakes league – launched by health sector regulator Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority – rings alarm bells when it comes to the East and North Herts NHS Trust.

The league focuses on the fairness and effectiveness of procedures for reporting errors, near misses and incidents, as well as staff confidence and security in reporting unsafe clinical practice and the percentage of staff who feel able to contribute towards improvement at their NHS trust.

Based in part on data from an NHS staff survey last year, the league ranks the East and North Herts NHS Trust 137 out of 230 nationwide – placing it in the ‘significant concerns’ category.

The other three categories are outstanding, good and poor.

The Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health services, and the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust – which provides community health services – both received ratings of good and are ranked 81 and 48 respectively.

A spokesman for the East and North Herts NHS Trust said: “While disappointed to see the trust rated as having significant concerns, it is clear we are not far off from being rated as good.

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“There was much around the performance of our staff that was rated highly. One area where we need to improve is the processes whereby incidents reported by our staff are shared in a more timely way with the National Reporting Learning System – one of the key measurements used in this new league table.

“We’ve introduced a range of different ways over the last few years for our staff to share concerns they may have, as well as sharing lessons learnt.”

Mike Durkin, national patient safety director at NHS England, said: “Learning from mistakes saves lives. In order to properly learn from mistakes we need to create a culture with openness and transparency at its heart.

“By letting trusts know how well they are doing compared with their peers, we want to start a conversation involving clinicians, managers and supporters of the NHS about what we can all do to make all parts of the NHS as safe as they can be.”

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