Zero tolerance is needed in breast screening

The Francis Report on Mid Staffs said the NHS must adopt a culture of zero tolerance for patient harm. Speaking on Newsnight, Tuesday 16.4, Donald Berwick, government adviser on patient safety, said this aspiration is needed in order to achieve levels of patient safety achieved by eg Salford Royal Hospital. It is also what is needed when considering whether the breast screening programme is fit for purpose, because of high levels of over-diagnosis, over-treatment and other harms plus ineffectiveness – known to researchers and health professionals, but not made explicit to women invited to screening, who mostly do not have access to the research and so, after years of misinformation, still think it will ‘save their life’. Thousands of healthy women become  ‘cancer patients’ who otherwise would have remained healthy ‘non-patients’. Where’s the person/patient safety in that?

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About bmitzi

Medical writer, author, artist. Cancer campaigner. Aiming always to improve health services and bring compassion into health care.
This entry was posted in Breast Cancer, Campaigns, Compassion in healthcare, patient safety, Screening, Screening Mammography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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