Professor Oliver says: “As Francis himself has pointed out, many of the recommendations he made are things that we as doctors, nurses and allied professionals, whether delivering hands on care or in leadership roles, should have been getting on and doing in any case, without waiting for the Final report, or the government response. And those actions would be equally important in any of the four nations, the Irish Republic and beyond. Francis should not be seen as an “England only” issue.”Continue reading →
Iain Wilkinson is an ST6 in the London Deanery and wrote the letter below for publication in the BGS newsletter
The second Francis report into the failings at Mid Staffordshire hospital will have stirred up feelings in a number of the readers of this newsletter. For me, I am actually quite anxious about the report. I see a number of things that happened at North Staffs that happen in every hospital I have worked in. The report shines a spotlight onto a number of areas of our practice as geriatricians and on-call general medical doctors, as highlighted by David Oliver’s excellent review (March 2013). Much of this is “structural” in nature (i.e.. training etc.). There are however some areas that are key to the way we work. Continue reading →
“All patients were by legal definition vulnerable, but older patients who might be confused, frightened and without family were even more so and any doctor who ignored that would be condoning institutional abuse.”
The hard hitting message was delivered to the BGS’s Spring Meeting by guest lecturer Robert Francis QC, chairman of the Mid Staffordshire inquiry, who told us: “We know that most of the issues were nursing ones but medical leadership is the key to solving them. All doctors should be in a position to take the lead.”
Doctors in Mid Staffordshire had failed to intervene for a variety of reasons including a sense of disengagement, a reluctance to rock the boat or make a fuss, fears about discretionary payments or pensions. The result was a catalogue of horror stories, some of which he described to his audience to whom he issued a plea, “Remember these stories and don’t ever fall into those categories. The future is in your hands.” Continue reading →
On reading the Francis report one might be misled into thinking that the report points to nurses as having sole responsibility for delivering compassionate care and that the only professionals delivering care within the NHS are nurses and doctors. It is unfortunate that the significant role of our Allied Health Professional colleagues within the multi-disciplinary team, and their potential for leadership, has not been recognised in this wide ranging and seminal report.
It would be wrong to look at the individual professional recommendations in isolation. Only 33 of the 209 recommendations are specific to nursing. However, many of these are addressing the same issues of leadership, training, regulation, professional accountability and the roles of our professional bodies, all of which apply equally to doctors, and all other professionals within the NHS. Continue reading →