NHS GOING BACK TO BASICS – Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary is to announce that the NHS is to go back to its grass roots of providing care. Nursing should never be viewed as a professional degree but rather a vocation; something that appears to have been lost in recent years.
The ‘back to basics’ will require all trainee nurse to undergo healthcare assistant training and work as a support nurse first. This is specifically designed so that nurse get ‘hands-on’ training and develop a compassion for those they are caring for; again something that appears to have disappeared over the years.
These measures are designed to increase the level of care, compassion and to ensure that a repeat of the Mid-Staffordshire incident, where over 1,200 patients lost their lives through neglect can and should never happen again.
Jeremy Hunt has also proposed a number of other improvements including:
A New Chief Inspector – This unfortunately does not mean that Sir David Nicholson will be sacked; as the public and healthcare groups would like.
It basically means that the new Chief Inspector will act like a Watchdog. Whether this solves the issues to simply adds another bureaucratic level of management is yet to be determined but many feel the NHS is already over run with administrators; maybe it is time to put management back into the hands of the doctors and nurses. This ethos certainly has worked well for Circle, who successfully turned around Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
Banning of Gagging Staff – It is proposed that any form of gagging clause in staff contracts should be removed, allowing them to openly and freely speak out against any issues they feel are wrong. The public have certainly raised their concern over this issue and are asking why such clauses in employment contracts was every allowed in the first place.
Statutory Duty of Candour – This will prevent hospitals and GP surgeries from concealing any mistakes that are made during patient care. Again, this issue is paramount but should not be used as a tool to merely create a witch hunt for doctors and nurses that do make mistakes.
The underlying problem with society is that we have a tendency to want to point the finger; whereas acknowledging a failing and then putting solutions into practice to prevent reoccurrence are often over looked. This is more management practice and the very reason the NHS has so many problems.
Care Home Care – It is proposed that a higher level of care should be given to the elderly within care homes. This news comes at a time when it is almost a daily occurrence to hear of elderly patients being mistreated in the most despicable ways. This is one area of healthcare that really needs to clean up its image and provide quality healthcare to the elderly.
The once beloved NHS rarely receives any good press; and is it any wonder when the likes of Sir David Nicholson are allow to continue running it.
The ‘back to basics’ is an excellent idea but not once did Jeremy Hunt mention Circle and how it has managed to turn around a debt ridden NHS hospital into a well run, efficient and a patient friendly environment; where the staff get to have their say on how it is run.
This government really does need to go ‘back to basics’ by starting at looking at ‘models’ that do work and work efficiently. Without understanding what is broken and what needs fixing and how to achieve this properly will only result in another debacle down the road and with the NHS providing primary care to the nation any failings will always result in the loss of life.