NHS to undergo transformation in the wake of the Francis Inquiry
In reaction to the Stafford Hospital scandal, Jeremy Hunt has revealed plans to transform the NHS into what he believes could be the ‘safest in the world’. The inquiry included 290 recommendations for change including quarterly reports concerning complaints, extended legal duty of candour and criminal liability for those failing to hold staff to account. Increasing staffing levels within hospitals has been a key focus point as the number of nurses has decreased by 2% since the last election and has been having mass impact on the care provided in hospitals; hospitals are therefore now to have a recommended level of staff.
Frailest patients within England to be given a named GP to manage care
Plans have been approved by both the NHS and the British Medical Association to allocate 100,000 of the frailest patients a named GP. Doctors will identify 2% of their registers as meeting the criteria for such care including those in care homes, those who are regularly in hospitals and those at the end of their lives. The aim of such a scheme is to meet the needs of the most vulnerable whilst keeping A&E less congested.
Peter Tyndall deems the current health and social care system too complex and calls for change
Despite leaving his post, Tyndall has called for a reform of the current system. The Welsh government aims to combine health and social services by providing a full package of care from one single body rather than various institutions. The move is expected to minimise confusion for patients, allowing those who can to remain in their homes and keeping hospital beds free for those who need them.
Department for Education figures illustrate lack of spaces in free nursery programme
In September 2013, ministers had promised 130,000 two year olds 15 hours a week of free childcare, but only 92,000 of these children have been involved in such a scheme. The scheme, supported principally by Nick Clegg, was originally in place to help disadvantaged children to have the best possible start to their education. However, the project is said to be underfunded and, therefore, unavailable to many who were promised a place.
Nursing recruitment in crisis
The Royal College of Nursing has stated that there are currently 20,000 unfulfilled posts within the NHS despite the government claiming the number of staff has increased. Staffing levels were a controversial aspect of the Stafford Hospital scandal and the RCN warns it will only get worse it will get as the government reduces the number of student nursing places.