Lessons of the Francis Report are not just confined to the NHS

The BGS blog has recently hosted a lot of commentary about the Francis Report and its implications for the NHS, particularly in England. It can be useful, in times of reflection, to look outside of your immediate working environment to consider what can be learned from elsewhere. The Francis Report has implications for other healthcare economies.

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Here Prof Des O’Neil considers its implications for care in the Republic of Ireland. This article initially appeared on the BMJ blog.

The terrifying Francis report from Mid Staffordshire demonstrated vividly how older people became early victims of poor leadership and standards in the NHS, very belatedly recognised canaries in the coal mine.

Across the Irish Sea, a new and unhappy phenomenon is arising for older people in a mixed private and public healthcare system. A somewhat messy and porous border separates the two systems, with public and private beds in public and voluntary hospitals, as well as exclusively private hospitals which provide elective care in the main. There is much less discussion within the profession than might be desirable about the impact of the system on professional practice, with the few studies available (from general practice) showing differing treatment patterns for public and private patients . The aspiration of the current government is for a system of universal coverage, based on the Dutch model, but few are holding their breath. Continue reading