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Francis Report: RCN calls for effective management

The Royal College of Nurses (RCN) has called for more effective management to put recommendations from the Francis report in place.  

Released earlier this year, the Francis report into the failings of care at Mid Staffordshire Hospitals Foundation Trust made 290 recommendations on how healthcare organisations could prevent such atrocities happening again. 

The RCN response agreed with many of the points Robert Francis QC made, but said they would require “supportive management, effective supervision and sufficient staffing”. 

The recommendation to have a 'named nurse' who would organise care around the patient was welcomed by the RCN. 

Dr Peter Carter, RCN chief executive said: “The recommendation of a 'named nurse' rightly puts nurses at the heart of patient care and we would like to see it accompanied by the right supervision and staffing levels. 

“The first priority of nurses is to care for their patients and we want to work with the Government to make sure they have the time and support to deliver this care to the highest standard.”

'Toxic culture'

The Francis report, was described as  'watershed moment' in the history of the NHS, by Dr Carter. 

He said: “We know that preventing the tragic events at Mid Staffordshire from happening anywhere else is the top priority of everyone involved in the health service, from ministers to managers to frontline staff. It is all of our responsibility to act together to ensure patients are at the very centre of the NHS.

“Failure to tackle existing care problems and unsafe staffing levels is to fail patients. Frontline staff must be able to raise concerns straight away without fear of reprisals, before patient safety is put at risk.”

More should be done to tackle 'care fatigue' in the NHS, experienced by longer-service health care staff. The RCN believes that a toxic culture can “pollute good people, eroding the kindness and compassion from them”. 

Despite a government veto, the Royal College of Nursing has called for specific training for older people's nurses. 

The full RCN response is available on the Royal College of Nursing website