Nurses and physicians should avoid the use of official titles such as “doctor” or “Sir”.
“In the room of the operation, if you have a hierarchy, it is that you have a pair of eyes spotting the error, then that if you remove the hierarchy you can have 8 or 9 pairs of eyes spotting these errors potentially lethal,” he said.
“In the United Kingdom, we are still very hierarchical in medicine.
“It is one of the only occupations where there is talk of Mister This doctor and that instead of the name of the first plan that are normally used.”
Peter Walsh, Chief Executive Action against Medical Accidents, said:
“Everything that allows for better team work between health professionals is to be welcomed, but, frankly, we expect more than simply encourage the use of first names.
The “Safer Surgery Checklist’ has been shown to be effective to prevent errors in the involving whole teams, but it is not applied and not adjusted correctly.
“Probably the largest factor which currently affects the teams of the is that they are under pressure. It is not much help being on first name terms if you are short of staff and exhausted.”
The initiative is the result of the announcement that there are five dead in the NHS all days caused by preventable errors.