The Prime Minister's Nursing Quality Care Forum, set up in January of which the Patients Association was a member, has reported back its findings and made recommendations.
Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association said,
"Many of these measures would meet the calls for action we have made over the past few years in relation to care in hospital-stronger leadership, more patient focused care and greater tests to assess the opinion of staff about the hospital they work in. Because of this we feel that they are a step in the right direction for improving care within the NHS. The Patients Association already does a great deal of work with NHS trusts to spread best practice and seek to improve the standard of care provided, and we will continue to do so.
However we don’t yet see the radical changes that will lead to a step change in the way the NHS delivers care. Patients are frequently telling our Helpline that they are struggling to differentiate between nurses and HCA on the ward and all the evidence indicates that HCA’s are being asked to do more and more clinical work. A failure to regulate this huge section of the healthcare profession will undermine any reform of nursing care.
In addition, whilst we welcome the increased inspection activity of the Care Quality Commission, there is still some way to go before that organisation is providing the robust detection and inspection regime that the NHS so desperately needs to drive up standards. The CQC must be given the resources it need."