Patient Safety Concerns: Health Ombudsman Highlights NHS Issues with Empathy and Sexual Harassment

Health Ombudsman Issues Warning: NHS Quality of Care Jeopardized by Clinician Attitudes

Rob Behrens, the ombudsman tasked with investigating complaints regarding the NHS, has raised serious concerns about the quality of care in certain hospitals.

He highlighted that a ‘hierarchical and high-handed attitude of clinicians’ is undermining the quality of care, posing risks to patient safety. The findings come amid revelations about challenges in the treatment of sepsis and issues within the NHS maternity care system.

Patient Safety Concerns: Health Ombudsman Highlights NHS Issues with Empathy and Sexual Harassment

In his role, Mr. Behrens expressed shock at the failings he observed, particularly in the treatment of sepsis, a life-threatening response to infection.

He emphasized the need for medical training to promote a more empathetic and collaborative approach among doctors. Additionally, he shed light on pervasive sexual harassment faced by female clinicians within the NHS, calling for urgent changes.

Maternity Care Failings and Clinician Attitudes: Ombudsman’s Alarming Report on NHS Challenges

The ombudsman pointed to specific problems in NHS maternity care, citing instances in Morecambe Bay, East Kent, and Shrewsbury.

Despite previous reports and recommendations, care failings persist in these areas, indicating a need for systemic changes. The Care Quality Commission had previously warned about substandard care in two out of five maternity wards.

NHS in Crisis: Ombudsman Calls for Change in Clinician Approach and Addressing Sexual Harassment

With almost a third of female surgeons reporting sexual assault by colleagues in the past five years, Mr. Behrens emphasized the ‘disturbing’ levels of harassment.

He stressed the prioritization of ‘organisational reputation’ over patient safety and highlighted the detrimental impact of competing clinicians on patient care, contributing to the 11,000 avoidable deaths in the NHS each year.

Patient Safety at Risk: Health Ombudsman Exposes Challenges in NHS Care Quality

As part of The Times Health Commission’s year-long inquiry, Mr. Behrens discussed the cultural problems within the NHS.

He highlighted the lack of good leadership, problems in teamwork and shift handovers, and the overall frustration and stress experienced by NHS staff. The ombudsman called for improvements and suggested empowering the ombudsman to initiate inquiries independently to enhance patient safety.