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HALT is a High-Risk Environment

Published: Wed 15 May 2019
Two significant pieces of medical news appeared recently. The first pointed to the crisis in recruitment and retention of GPs to the NHS.

The second piece related to the increasing costs of medical negligence claims to the NHS (i.e. tax payers).

The GP Crisis

The GP crisis was highlighted in a BBC TV programme that followed a dedicated GP for a day and also spoke to patients struggling to get appointments in parts of the country.  Governmental responses tend to illustrate that they are doing well and piling more money in to the NHS which the Treasury will confirm.

Opposition responses tend to promise more resource when they gain power.

The end user knows that things are not right when they can’t get an appointment or be seen within government targets.

The causes are complex and don’t just apply to Drs. There are shortages of key personnel right across healthcare and not just in the UK.


The lack of key personnel means that the remaining health care providers have to take up the slack and meet an ever increasing demand both in terms of numbers and complexity. The reality is that many providers are burning out because they are missing proper breaks and meals (Hungry), angry at the constant pressure that doesn’t allow them to do their best (Angry), constantly under time pressures (Late) and tired or knackered at the end of a long work day (Tired).

The acronym HALT sums up a recipe for a high risk environment where error rates can increase, and empathy suffers. The lack of empathy in a professional relationship is a common catalyst for complaints and litigation. Safe industries know this.

Risky Business Events

There are answers and Risk Business gives us an opportunity to hear and learn from others who have similar problems. It is not just healthcare.

Come and join us at Risky Business London, click here for a schedule & speaker's list for London 2019 at KIngs Place, near KIngs Cross and GOSH, 5th - 7th June. Learn more about how to create a less risky and more enjoyable environment.

Author: John Tiernan