Department of Health and Social Care


Information is the lifeblood of an open transparent and candid culture. All professionals, individually and collectively, should be obliged to take part in the development, use and publication of more sophisticated measurements of the effectiveness of what they do, and of their compliance with fundamental standards.

Robert Francis, 2013.

Information must be used to improve the experience of patients and staff.

Too often the healthcare system has seen information as something to be hoarded, with poor communication between organisations.

Instead, open sharing of information, to identify poor care early on, must be encouraged.

Using quantitative and qualitative information effectively to get the whole picture of a situation will help the healthcare system be more proactive and targeted.

Staff must be open and transparent to information received from feedback, seeing it as a means for improvement.

It is important that information is not only shared between organisations, but also with patients and the public.

Important areas of action include:

  • transparent, monthly reporting of ward-by-ward staffing levels and other safety measures
  • all hospitals to clearly set out how patients and their families can raise concerns or complain, with independent support available from NHS complaints advocacy services, Healthwatch or alternative organisations
  • the Care Quality Commission and NHS England will develop a dedicated hospital safety website for the public which will draw together up to date information on all the factors, for which robust data is available, that impact of the safety of care
  • quarterly reporting of complaints data and lessons learned by trusts, with the Ombudsman to significantly increase the number of cases she considers
  • government intention to legislation, at the earliest available opportunity, on wilful neglect of patients, so that those responsible for the worst failures in care are held accountable


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