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Paterson Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:53 pm on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 1:53 pm, 4th February 2020

I am totally with the hon. Lady, and as a nurse myself, I know that that happens with senior nurses, not only senior doctors, because there is the same culture of fear, and of not wanting to challenge a superior who is more experienced in what they are doing. Such a change cannot happen overnight. It will take time, but I think it is already happening as a result of increased confidence. We have recently had a few inquiries, and I think patients now have more confidence to speak out. Under the national guardians scheme, whistleblowers have more confidence to speak out. I think that cultural change is happening, and last week I visited a hospital where I saw that in process.

Our job is to ensure that we introduce whatever needs to be put in place. No one is God. When I trained as a nurse, doctors were like God, but that is not true; that is not the case. This has been a long road, and we need to challenge that culture even further. Those who have been practising for some time are esteemed, and we value their experience. We value those people, but we must also break the culture that means they are not to be challenged. Making the revalidation and appraisal system more robust is one way to do that.