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Managing when a serious incident occurs

Dr Umesh Prabhu Medical Director Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust spoke at today’s Managing When a Serious Clinical Incident Occurs conference on:

• a step by step guide to managing when a serious clinical incident occurs
• establishing a safe environment
• supporting all involved in the incident
• how can frontline staff prepare: policy and practice
• accountabilities and reporting requirements

Dr Prabhu opened the conference with an inspiring talk about his experience as an NHS leader and learning from mistakes including why doctors make mistakes.  Dr Prabhu talked about how to lead a safe organisation by creating an open culture among staff and making himself as a leader visible and approachable.  Dr Prabhu discussed how it is so important to listen to staff and to value them saying; "staff happiness is not for negotiation".

Dr Prabhu listed the resons for success in his organisation and established values including; putting patients first and always, happy staff equals happy patients, duty of candour, and a no blame culture.  On discussing the value of putting patients at the heart of everything we do, Dr Prabhu said; "the most important thing to take away is that it is patients who have got to live with the consequences of our decision, surgeries we carry out, medicine we give and rarely mistakes we make."  He went on to say; "patients are major stakeholders and we may all be patients in the NHS one day."

Dr Prabhu gave details about how to investigate a serious untoward incident with tips including:

  • avoid a knee jerk reaction
  • protect patients - everything else is secondary
  • protect staff who raise concerns
  • be honest and sincere
  • duty of candour
  • talk to the doctor or staff involved
  • if appropriate restrict (talk to NCAS)
  • look after the doctor
  • look after other staff
  • get the balance between confidentiality and secretive
  • inform on a need to know basis
  • meet the family - prepare, prepare, prepare
  • tell the truth
  • support the family
  • ask the doctor to contact defence organisation or BMA.....

Dr Prabhu's full presentation is available for download at the end of this page.

Dr Umesh Prabhu
Medical Director, Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (April 2010 to date)
Consultant Paediatrician, Bury NHS Trust (1992 – 2010)
Clinical Director Paediatrics, Bury NHS Trust (1992 – 1998)
Medical Director, Bury NHS Trust (1998 – 2003)
Board Member, National Patient Safety Association (2001 –2003)
Clinical Adviser, Health Care Commission
National Clinical Advisory Service (2003 – 2014)
Member or Ex-Member of the Black and Minority Ethnic 
Advisory Committee/Equality and Diversity Committee of the British Medical
Association/General Medical Council/National                 
Clinical Advisory Service/Department of Health
National Vice Chair of the British International Doctors Association 
Previous National Vice Chair of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin

Future events of interest:


Masterclass: Root Cause Analysis for Beginners
Thursday 10 September 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Reducing & Monitoring Avoidable Hospital Deaths attributable to problems in care
Thursday 8 October 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Leading your Organisation to Zero-Harm
Thursday 22 October 2015 
Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester

Root Cause Analysis: 2 Day Intensive Training Course
Wednesday 4 November 2015 — Thursday 5 November 
Cavendish Conference Centre, London

Leading your Organisation to Zero-Harm
Thursday 10 December 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Download: Dr Umesh Prabhu full pesentation

8 July 2015


    Partner Organisations

    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
    GGI (Good Governance Institute) accredited conferences CPD Member ASGBI (Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland) professional partner BADS (British Association of Day Surgery) accredited conferences