The Prime Minister announced today the creation of a Nursing Quality Forum to review standards of care in hospitals. The announcement came following a CQC finding that one in five hospitals fails to meet basic standards of care for elderly patients. In an interview at Salford Hospital this morning, Mr Cameron advocated hourly ward rounds, patient-lead inspections of hospitals, and “friends and family” surveys whereby patients and hospital staff are asked if they would be happy for their relatives to be treated in the hospital. Furthermore, the new NHS Institute Time to Care initiative aims to reduce bureaucracy and paperwork, freeing nurses up to focus on patient care.
The news has been welcomed by many groups including the Royal College of Nursing, but some question whether the new changes will solve the deeper problems in the system. Hourly ward rounds will not solve anything without the right attitude and a sense of personal responsibility for the quality of care that is provided to each patient. This basic cultural shift must be fostered within the nursing profession – only then can hospitals be truly patient centred and provide excellent standards of care.