Royal College of Physicians' comment on Berwick report

Commenting on Professor Don Berwick’s report, Improving the safety of patients in England, the RCP said:

The RCP welcomes the publication of Professor Berwick’s report Improving the safety of patients in England. He is right to identify cultural change as the most important factor in reducing harm to patients.

An emphasis on appropriate staffing levels would also help the NHS cope with the increasing strain it is under due to the inexorable rise in emergency admissions, the increasing proportion of inpatients with dementia and comorbidities, poor continuity of care, out-of-hours care breakdown and a looming medical workforce crisis.

The RCP will be publishing its response to the Francis Inquiry on 4 September. We will argue that doctors who show leadership on the wards will make a significant contribution to improving the culture in the NHS.

We also need to improve the organisation and quality of care for acute medical patients. On 12 September the Future Hospital Commission, set up by the RCP, will publish its final report which will recommend major changes in the way acute care is organised.

The RCP looks forward to the government’s response to the Berwick and Francis reports in the autumn.

Visit the Future Hospital Commission section of the RCP website.