In the new NHS, ‘strong governance and clear lines of assurance will be key to safeguarding public money’

May 5, 2011

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published its ‘National Health Service Landscape Review’ – click here.

A helpful summary of the PAC report has been written by Dr Allan Tennant on the website of the Dispensing Doctors’ Association. In his summary, Dr Tennant states that “Establishing strong, effective systems of governance and clear lines of assurance and accountability supported by robust flows of information will be key to ensuring that public money is safeguarded.” He also states that “High quality risk management will be crucial if the change programme is to be delivered to time and budget and to realise its intended benefits, especially during the transition stage.”

Healthcare Governance Review has no doubt that good governance and risk management continue to be essential pre-requisites for building and maintaining successful NHS (and wider public sector) organisations.

Read Dr Tennant’s summary of the PAC report here.

Loughborough University postgraduate programme in healthcare governance – next intake November 2012

February 7, 2011

This well established and popular part-time postgraduate programme in healthcare governance, run by Loughborough University School of Business and economics, will take its next intake in November 2012.

The programme accepts anyone interested in healthcare governance and with suitable qualifications and/or experience to undertake postgraduate level study. It is not always a necessity to have a first degree.

Students can study for a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma or Master of Science (MSc) degree in healthcare governance. The full MSc degree takes a minimum of 2 years by part-time study and includes modules on corporate governance in healthcare, clinical governance (including patient safety) and managing healthcare risk, together with a dissertation on any healthcare governance related topic.

For further information, click here.

Notable quote: PwC perspective on boards and risk oversight

January 4, 2011

According to John Barry, Leader, Center for Board Governance, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, United States – "Boards should approach risk oversight systematically across divisions and functions and consider various business scenarios for unknown risks."

Healthcare Governance Review noted as a “top 50 risk management blog!”

December 15, 2010

A USA blogsite has included in its ‘top 50’ list of risk management sites. Masters in Risk Management states that it “strives to provide readers with the best information available about risk management degrees.”

Check out their article ‘Top 50 risk management blogs’ here. Healthcare Governance Review is at number 45.

Bacteria on lift buttons……

October 17, 2010

First, there were concerns about bacteria levels on medical doctors’ ties.

Then, concern shifted to the level of bacteria found on computer keyboards in hospitals.

Now, it’s lift buttons.

According to an article in the October 2010 issue of Health & care Management, the magazine of the Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM), “The number of bacteria present on a lift button is more than three times higher than on a public toilet seat, according to new findings. Research carried out in toilets, restaurants, banks, offices and airports showed that the level of bacteria on lift button averaged 2,200 colony-forming units per square centimetre, compared with eight on the average toilet seat.”

Healthcare Governance Review wonders when the Department of Health will issue guidance on the matter for healthcare facilities?

Clinical negligence review 2009

October 17, 2010

Penningtons Solicitors LLP have release their first annual review of the clinical negligence ‘marketplace’, providing an analysis of the key trends, some guidance on landmark legal developments and expert insight into some of the topical clinical negligence issues such as legal costs, the growth of periodical payments, and the ability to claim in full for private care.

Of particular note from the review are:

– over the last 4 years clinical negligence claims has risen 8.7% from 5,602 in 2005 to 6,088 in 2009. However, claims rose by 12.2% between 2007 and 2009.

– Payments made by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) in 2009 for damages to clinical negligence claimant and legal costs rose to £762.9 million, a 21% increase on the 2008 amount of £633.3 million.

– The number of periodical payments increased from 548 cases at 31 March 2008 to 659 cases at 31 March 2009, representing a provision of more than £1.37 billion.

– As at 31 March 2009, the NHSLA estimates that it has further potential liabilities of £13.37 billion relating to clinical negligence claims.

Download Pennington’s Clinical Negligence Annual Review 2009 here.

NPSA publishes data on ‘Never Events’

October 17, 2010

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has published its first ever national report on Never Events.

Never Events are patient safety incidents that are preventable because: there is guidance that explains what the care or treatment should be; there is guidance to explain how risks and harm can be prevented; there has been adequate notice and support to put systems in place to prevent them from happening.

The NPSA definition of a Never Event is: A serious, largely preventable patient safety incident that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented by healthcare providers.

Never Events are one of the indicators that can be used to demonstrate how safe an organisation is and its patient safety culture. Continued occurrence of Never Events can be considered an indicator of an organisation that has not put the right systems and processes in place to prevent them from happening.

A total of 111 Never Events were reported to the NRLS at the NPSA. In summary:

– The Never Events were spread throughout England, occurred throughout the year and across different trusts.

– Just over half were related to wrong site surgery (57).

– The second highest reported Never Event was related to misplaced naso or orogastric tubes (41).

– There were no reports of Never Events related to wrong route administration of chemotherapy, in-hospital maternal death from post-partum haemorrhage after elective caesarean section and inpatient suicide using non-collapsible rails.

– The remaining three Never Events had fewer than 10 events reported over the year.

Download the NPSA’s Never Events Annual report 2009/10 here.