Familiarity not contempt

It is interesting if a little depressing to look back at Professor Sir Ian Kennedy’s Francis report. Both have rocked the NHS; both are weighty but incisive and, er, both make eerily similar recommendations. Spot the difference between:

There should be a coherent set of standards for the NHS, which all bodies must comply with And Fundamental standards should be enshrined in the NHS constitution and enforced accordingly

There is a need for broadening professional skills and for doctors to keep up to date with clinical practice and to undergo regular appraisal And The NHS needs broadening professional skills and for doctors to keep up to date with clinical practice and to undergo regular appraisal

However, some things have moved on – and they have moved on a lot. The information agenda is the most salient one. While failures to pay proper attention to data featured strongly in both, there is no doubt that the information culture in the NHS has been transformed in the past 12 years. The buzzwords of transparency and participation would have been laughable then – even if there is still some way to go in making them real now.

Interesting if nothing else that the words that feature most frequently in the Francis report are: information and standards, closely followed by patient and quality.

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