Five West London hospitals are among the worst fifth in England for encouraging whistleblowers to flag up bad care and medical mistakes, the NHS has revealed.
The handful were rated 'poor' for 'open and honest reporting' as part of data published on a new NHS Choices patients' safety website chronicling seven indicators that the public, health professionals and regulators can use to compare the performance of hospitals.
Those 'poor' hospitals are: Northwick Park Hospital in Watford Road, Harrow; St Mark's Hospital, which shares the same site; sister Central Middlesex Hospital in Acton Road, Park Royal; Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in Fulham Road, Chelsea; and West Middlesex University Hospital in Twickenham Road, Isleworth.
Carole Flowers, the director of nursing at The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust that runs Northwick Park, St Mark's and Central Middlesex Hospitals, said: “We welcome the publication of this data on NHS Choices today which is another step towards ensuring greater transparency and openness about how we are performing against some key indicators regarding safety.
“While the trust has been rated red for potential under reporting of patient safety incidents, this is one indicator and should be seen in context.
"It does not mean we are not providing safe care and every reported incident is investigated to ensure learning and appropriate action is taken.
"There are areas of our incident reporting we can improve and we have recently upgraded our incident reporting software system and developed an action plan to make it easier for staff to report incidents and support learning from improvements.”
The 'OK' hospitals were: Charing Cross Hospital; Ealing Hospital; Hammersmith Hospital; Hillingdon Hospital; Queen's Charlotte Hospital, and St Mary's Hospital
For four hospitals NHS Choices provides no data: Royal Brompton Hospital; Harefield Hospital, and The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.
Check any hospital below:
To realise a rating, statisticians looked at:
n potential under-reporting of patient safety incidents to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS), the NHS database for whistleblowers
n potential under-reporting of death and severe harm patient safety incidents to the NRLS
n proportion of incidents reported to the NRLS that are harmful
n organisational commitment to at least monthly reporting to the NRLS
n the results of the NHS staff survey Key Factor: Fairness and effectiveness of incident reporting procedures
Sir Robert Francis QC, will lead a review called Freedom and Responsibility to Speak Up: An Independent Review into Creating an Open and Honest Reporting Culture in the NHS to consider what further action is necessary to protect NHS workers who speak out in the public interest and help to create the kind of open culture that is needed to ensure safe care for patients.
The Department for Health is encouraging trusts to join the Sign Up To Safety campaign.