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MP welcomes govt plans to change culture of NHS

March 26, 2013 12:58 PM

Tim in WestminsterFollowing today's statement laying out the Government's response to the recent Francis Report, South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the Health Secretary's announcement that more compassion and a change of culture surrounding reporting failings needs to be injected into the NHS.

The Francis Report, which was published in February, followed a public inquiry into the failings within the NHS after the crisis at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust which lasted for more than a year between 2010 and 2011 and received evidence from more than 160 witnesses.

In an announcement this afternoon Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt acknowledged that there needs to be a greater emphasis on compassion within the NHS. He set out a package of proposals that included ensuring that new nurses have worked on wards as healthcare assistants for up to a year doing basic tasks including washing and dressing before they can complete their degree.

The Health Secretary also announced that he would be introducing a legal duty of candour, one of the key recommendations in the Francis Report, which would require staff working within the NHS to be completely honest when a mistake is made.

Tim has been calling for greater openness in the NHS following problems at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which has recently been subject to a series of reviews and inspections by health regulators, following failings in maternity and emergency care within the Trust's hospitals.

Commenting Tim said: "The Government's response to the Francis Report is a big step forward for the NHS. For too long there has been a culture of keeping mistakes quiet and not being open in order to learn from failures, which has led to disasters like the crisis at the Morecambe Bay Trust.

"The new management are doing good work to rebuild the Trust and to restore faith in the quality of patient care and today's announcement will not only ensure that we see the highest quality nurses on our wards, but it will also ensure that when mistakes are made they are dealt with openly and honestly, which will prevent the problems we have seen recently in Morecambe Bay occurring again."