The chief nurse at Brighton and Hove’s main hospital trust has urged colleagues to use the fallout from the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal as a way to raise standards of care.
She wrote to her nursing staff at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH) after the government published its response to the Francis report into failings in Mid Staffordshire.
Sherree Fagge, the senior nurse at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, said: “I can understand that what has been said can be difficult to hear for us as nurses and midwives who virtually without fail come into work every day and try our very best for our patients.
“It is never nice to hear criticism about our profession but I feel we should welcome this renewed focus on patient care and embrace the changes that come with it.
“We will be reviewing our nursing response to the Francis report and ensure that actions are taken to improve care based on the recommendations.
“The core elements of the changes – setting high standards, providing compassionate care, being open and honest with patients and learning from our mistakes – are already top priorities for nurses and midwives at BSUH but there is always room for improvement.
“Rather than see the introduction of these new measures as a negative reflection of our work, we should see them as an opportunity to become even better than we already are.”
The chief nurse wrote to staff after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt set out measures that included
- Introducing a legal duty of candour to be open and honest about mistakes
- Making wilful neglect a criminal offence as a way of holding staff to account
- Bringing in care certificates to ensure healthcare assistants have the right skills and training
- Placing the names of a responsible consultant and nurse above their bed of every patient
- Publishing details of the nurse staffing levels of every hospital on a new national safety website and on wards for patients to see
Mr Hunt said that the aim of the measures was “restoring trust, reinforcing professional pride in frontline staff and above all giving confidence that they (patients) will be given the best and safest care”.
He said: “The way to do that is to be completely open and transparent.”