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Berwick: “You cannot achieve excellence in combat with your future workforce”

The government’s former adviser on patient safety, Prof Don Berwick, has said Hunt “should apologise” to junior doctors over the contract dispute. Speaking at a King’s Fund event in London he said: 

“You cannot achieve excellence in combat with your future workforce, it makes no sense at all. So you need to find a way to de-escalate…I think the government should apologise.

“I don’t think there should be resignations, I think an apology is what happens when you learn that you made a mistake, that’s all.

He added it would be an “act of generosity and courage” for the government to declare a “moratorium” on the new contract by saying “we’re going to hit the hold button for three years and figure our way back out of this”.

“I think the junior docs need to have some courage and generosity as well. They need to firmly embrace the Five Year Forward View. It’s a terrific model and they need to help invent it.

“A moratorium would create the space for junior clinicians to feed in ideas about how the forward view could be implemented on the ground.”

Berwick also urged the government to “reflect on the effects of austerity” on the NHS, and questioned whether it could continue providing care at an acceptable standard at its current level of funding,

“The government must reflect on the effects of austerity on the ability of the NHS to survive and thrive.

“I know no nation that is seeking to provide healthcare at the level that western democracies can at 8% of GDP, let alone 7 or 6.7. That may be impossible.

“It’s very crucial that your government reflect on whether it has overshot on austerity.”

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2 Responses to “Berwick: “You cannot achieve excellence in combat with your future workforce””

  1. […] a speech to the King’s Fund, Professor Don Berwick, US healthcare expert and former government patient safety advisor, agreed;  “I know no nation that is seeking to provide healthcare at the level that western democracies […]

  2. […] that is the core of conservatism. You might think they’ve gone too far- I do. So does Prof Don Berwick, the Nuffield Trust, the Financial Times and the Kings Fund to  name a few. The deficit is £97 […]

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