07 February 2014
NHS care has changed for the ‘better’ just one year on from the Francis Inquiry into Mid Staffordshire, according to the Department of Health.
Speaking at a conference in London, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt spoke about the ‘Francis Effect’, with improvements including failing hospitals being put on the road to recovery, more nurses on the wards, more doctors, and feedback direct from patients changing the way hospitals work.
The Health Secretary has highlighted that a number of changes have been made since the Francis Inquiry, which includes an extra 2,400 hospital nurses hired, with over 3,300 more nurses working on NHS hospital wards and 6,000 more clinical staff overall since May 2010; 14 hospitals in special measures are being turned round, with 650 extra nurses and nursing assistants hired in those hospitals, strong leaders installed, and 49 board level managers replaced; nearly 40% of hospitals now have the names of a senior responsible doctor above patients’ beds; 165 nursing students piloting a radical new training approach working as healthcare assistants before their nurse training; nearly 1.6 million patients have given direct feedback on what they thought about their treatment through the Friends and Family Test; and 84 patient and public representatives have taken part in CQC inspections so far.
Speaking about the Francis Inquiry anniversary Jeremy Hunt said: ‘[A year] on, we cannot expect to have solved everything or to have completely transformed the culture of the [NHS]. But we have seen a real shift in priorities - new inspections, more nurses and a stronger voice for patients, with compassionate care starting to replace tick-box targets as the major focus on boards and wards.’
The government has stated it intends to publish a progress report this year in November 2014.