PM seeks to improve NHS nursing
Published on 06 January 2012 01:00 PM
David Cameron has unveiled a series of measures designed to improve nursing standards in the NHS.
The Prime Minister said he wants to cut the amount of paperwork facing nursing staff, ensure they carry out more ward rounds and target particular improvement in the care of older people.
Last year a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report showed that one in five NHS hospitals are breaking the law on older people care, with 50% of hospitals failing to hit standards regarding nutrition and 40% falling short on treating patients with dignity.
It is hoped the moves will ensure patients get more help with meals and are kept comfortable at all times - issues that were highlighted in the CQC report.
Mr Cameron agreed that there is a 'real problem' with some hospitals treating patients respectfully and with dignity, and claimed that the moves unveiled on Friday will help improve standards across the NHS.
To help reassure families of patients, Mr Cameron said the measures would give members of the public the opportunity to inspect hospitals.
Wards should be led by matrons or ward sisters, Mr Cameron said, as people get comfort from the presence of someone in authority.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK, commented: 'We are very pleased to see that dignity and respect is a priority for the department of health as all too often older people are not getting the kind of care they have a right to expect.
'Proposals aimed at promoting better leadership and helping staff prioritise caring for patients over administration are a positive step towards delivering improvements. But change is required at all levels of the NHS and the focus needs to be consistently on delivering a positive patient experience.
'Age UK, through the Dignity in Care commission, is setting out what practical solutions need to be implemented to improve dignity in essential care for older people in hospitals and care homes based on the evidence they have gathered and will be consulting on these recommendations in February.'
Copyright Press Association 2012