NHS England’s safety function will be moved to the new combined provider regulation body NHS Improvement.

  • NHS England safety function to move to new provider body
  • Air accident investigation style unit to be set up by NHS England safety director Mike Durkin

Jeremy Hunt announced the new name for the organisation, bringing together Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority this morning.

In a speech the health secretary Jeremy Hunt said this would also see Mike Durkin, NHS England’s director of safety, set up a new “Independent Patient Safety Investigation Service modelled on the Air Accident Investigation Branch”.

Mike Durkin image

Mike Durkin will work on completing NICE’s work on safe staffing

Mr Hunt said: “A ‘no blame’ learning culture in that industry has led to dramatic reductions in both fatalities and cost - and we now need to do the same in healthcare.”

He added that Dr Durkin’s other “early priority” was working with the chief nursing officer “to complete the work started by [National Institute for Health and Care Excellence] on safe staffing issues”.

“There can be no compromise on the issue of safe staffing and we need a methodology that properly assesses and publishes what appropriate levels of staffing should be, taking full account of the changes that can be made with new technology and modern multidisciplinary work practices,” he continued.

He said the output of this work would be “independently reviewed” by NICE, the Care Quality Commission’s chief inspector of hospitals and the chair of the review into care at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, Sir Robert Francis.