Despite lessons of recent times, screening unit still tried to hide problems

Another major trust hits the headlines for the wrong reasons as management consultants attempt to investigate problems at Hammersmith's breast screening unit. Previous internal inquiries at the trust's imaging service had indicated the improvements that needed to be made.

On this occasion the trust hoped to conduct its investigations in secret, only revealing the findings of PriceWaterhouseCoopers' report if problems were identified. The trust has difficulties with staff recruitment and morale - not in themselves unusual. But with clinical governance now underpinning everything that goes on in the NHS, transparency and a willingness to learn from past mistakes are paramount.

Hammersmith's culture, despite the lessons of other recent 'scandals', is still one of attempting to hide its difficulties rather than addressing them openly. Perhaps that is one of the first changes the service there needs to make.