Dr Tim Wilson, partner, PwC said:
“While the NHS may have been waiting a long time for the Francis Report, on many issues around quality and safety, healthcare organisations already know much of what they need to do to drive improvements.
“Most NHS trusts and other providers have already taken steps to improve the prevention and detection of poor or unsafe care. However there remains significant room for improvement, and NHS boards will be the focus of providing leadership in driving and monitoring improved patient care. The culture of care in an organisation can no longer be considered “too difficult” when known solutions are available.
“The key question is whether the upshot of the report will mean better regulation or just more regulation. More regulation sometimes runs the risk of increasing constraints on people using their judgment on how care can be improved.
“Whilst a system of more intelligent regulation, informed by patients’ experience of services, will undoubtedly have a part to play in preventing another Mid Staffordshire from occurring, boards of NHS trusts and other providers should not view regulatory compliance as an end in itself.
“Regardless of the regulatory obligations, the boards of affected Trusts have to ensure that in responding to the inquiry, the real purpose of healthcare organisations – to provide safe and patient centred care - does not become squeezed out by a focus on survival and regulatory compliance whilst managing increasing financial pressures.”
Among the potential outcomes of the report is likely to be enhanced regulation and inspection of services, new regulation of some non-clinical staff, and how health care assistants who deliver care to vulnerable patients are managed and trained.
John Morris, health sector expert at PwC, said:
“At the average hospital, nursing auxiliaries account for as much as 40 or 50 per cent of the nursing staff and it’s absolutely vital that their use is properly regulated and monitored to ensure a good standard of patient care.
“Good, evidence-based guidance already exists and providers should be using it. There is a need to ensure that all clinical staff, including nursing auxiliaries, are well-trained and their roles well-managed. At the same time, staff at any level should feel free to stand up and say if they think things aren’t right, without fear of any repercussions from their employer, indeed a newly regulated manager might want to thank them for their concerns.”
PwC’s specialist healthcare team include GP and nursing practioners and healthcare specialists. For interview or further information please contact Rowena Mearley 07841 563 180.
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