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A future vision for the NHS: a supportive culture

Junior doctors with patient

We are five years on from the Francis and Berwick reports, which recognised the need for fundamental change and a move away from a culture of blame towards a culture of learning. Yet these issues persist. Most recently the Dr Bawa-Garba High Court case brought into sharp focus the difficult and pressurised conditions in which medical professionals work, and the impact this can have on both doctor and patient.

There has been some action to address culture, which has largely focused on developing values, governance and leadership. But there has been a lack of impact on the ground. Despite some progress having been made, top-down targets and financial performance still dominate and issues for staff are ongoing from raising concerns and individual accountability versus learning from errors and addressing system failure, to bullying and harassment and recognising diversity and ensuring equality of opportunity.

These are the barriers to creating a culture that encourages professionals to work together more effectively to deliver high quality, safe care for patients. We will explore with members what a supportive and learning culture would look like, and what action is needed to improve it.

Find out more about the BMA's ongoing work into how doctors can be supported when working in a system under pressure.

Find out more about the BMA's work on NHS culture.



All member survey

We would like to begin an honest conversation about the sort of NHS doctors want to work in.

Help shape our future vision of the NHS. 

Complete our survey