”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever does" (Margaret Meade)
To start the New Year we would like to thank the thousands of people working in the NHS who endeavour to give the highest standards of care, against all odds, every day of the year. Without them the world would be a poorer place.
News reports continue to draw attention to poor experiences of care and the view that these failures are influenced by inadequate staffing levels, poor leadership, the lack of accountability and political interference in the NHS.
In Wales, the ambulance service has been in the news with members of the public complaining about dirty ambulances, speeding and “disinterested and uncaring behaviour” by staff. Health bosses from Aneurin Bevan Health Board have apologised to the family of an 80 year old man who was treated as if he had dementia by nurses because no-one had written down he had hearing problems. Staff at Abergavenny's Nevill Hall Hospital also failed to tell him that he may have developed cancer and fitted a catheter when he was not incontinent. Liver surgeon David Paul Berry who works at Cardiff & Vale Health Board has been suspended after a report found eight out of 10 deaths in patients in his care were avoidable.
Russell Hopkins, who used to manage the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff,
has condemned the state of the NHS claiming that politicians and managers have messed it up. He was left with bladder and nerve damage after an operation in 2011.
Staff shortages have been blamed for many of the failings and there have been calls for a legal requirement to meet minimum staffing levels in hospitals. Reports have also shown that staff shortages and litigation claims cost NHS Wales a considerable amount of money which could be better spent. Staff shortages in the Princess of Wales Hospital’s A&E department has left health chiefs with a £1m bill for locum medics over the past 18 months and more than £100m has been paid out for negligence and personal injury in the past three years.
Elsewhere in the UK it has been reported that patients may have died needlessly
at a Scottish hospital because of poor care and a report by lawyer Sir Ian Kennedy found that bosses at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust failed hundreds of breast cancer patients. Concerns about breast surgeon Ian Paterson dated back to 2003 but were not dealt with for four years.
The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) continues to cause unease. The Health Select Committee has expressed concern over the fragile progress of improvement made by the NMC over the past year.
The Professional Standards Authority which oversees the NMC, has intervened in a recent fitness to practise decision made by NMC. It has applied to the High Court to appeal the decision. Janice Harry, the former director of Nursing from Mid Staffordshire Trust has been only given a five-year caution, even though it was found that she was guilty of serious misconduct.
The NMC was also asked to investigate Ayrshire and Arran's nursing chief, Fiona McQueen, following a scandal over withheld critical incident reports. More than 50 files, supposed to be vital learning tools from serious adverse events, failed to reach members of staff.Scotland's Information Commissioner labelled the case, which uncovered a catalogue of failings, among the worst he had ever seen. And a probe by Healthcare Improvement Scotland pointed to a lack of accountability. Despite the damning criticism, an NMC panel has ruled that one of the key players in charge has “no case to answer “. No appeal can be made against a ‘no case to answer’ decision.
Nursing Times reported that the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) would be reviewing the NMC’s and GMC’s handling of alleged misconduct cases relating to Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust staff. However, correspondence received from the Chief Executive of the PSA states that the “report in the Nursing Times was not totally accurate. In conducting our audits this year we asked to see all cases of doctors and nurses from Mid Staffs considered by the GMC and the NMC that fell within our audit sample. We are not however publishing a separate report. We have already published the GMC audit”. We expect to publish the NMC audit in January.
Developing An Ethical Approach to Improving Care
We are holding a workshop to explore the role, boundaries and focus of ethical leadership as the basis of ensuring patients, clients (and staff) are treated with dignity and respect. It will held from Wednesday, 5 February in Cowbridge. Please email(info@
dignifiedrevolution.org.uk if you would like more information. on
The NMC is conducting a consultation on revalidation and how the proposed model can be implemented in a variety of employment settings and scopes of practice. Click here for more information. The consultation closes on .
· Thank You for continuing to send your superb newsletter, and to wish you, and your colleague(s) the very best of Christmases.....and a peaceful, healthy and happy New Year.
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· Thank you for all the information this month and the progress - you are fighting so hard for on behalf of us all.
· Many thanks for your assistance and the great support you offer to people at a very difficult time.
GOOD NEWS STORIES
CBE honour for Stafford Hospital fighter Julie Bailey
Cure the NHS founder Julie Bailey and whistle blower Helene Donnelly have both received awards in the New Year’s Honours list. Ms Bailey has been awarded a CBE for services to the care of older people and Mrs Donnelly an OBE, in recognition of her work to raise concerns and improve care for patients.
Hospital campaign wins top prize for Ann Clwyd
Labour MP Ann Clwyd has won top prize - Politician of the Year- at the Welsh Political Awards. The Cynon Valley MP's award was for demanding better treatment of hospital patients. It began when she complained that her own husband was neglected before his death at the Heath Hospital in Cardiff. Source: ITV News.
Barbara Hodkinson, from the Butterfly Scheme has recently been involved in teaching the first-year nursing students at the University ofSwansea’s about dementia-friendly care. She has written to say thatthey were wonderful! As I said to them, if I were to develop dementia, I’d love to think they would care for me. They gave their full concentration throughout and demonstrated a determination to learn all they could about meeting the needs of anyone with cognitive impairment. They showed insight, compassion and that all-important willingness to take a can-do approach. I think anyone witnessing the quality of their approach would have great optimism for the future of hospital dementia care. The Butterfly Scheme has updated its website
Putting dementia on the map
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has launched an interactive online mapto show members of the public the quality of dementia care and support in their local area.
Find me help
Find Me Help is a resource for people in the last years of life, their families, carers and friends. It offers links to local services, information and a supportive online community.
NHS whistleblowing procedures in England
This House of Commons Library note sets out the current rights and procedures for NHS staff to raise concerns about safety, malpractice or wrongdoing at work, and guidance on where wider disclosure of concerns may be appropriate, including raising concerns with the Care Quality Commission.
New guidance on care and support for over 65s
Streamlined guidance for assessing and planning care and support for people aged 65 and over has been published by the Welsh Government.
New standards aim to improve health services for people with sensory loss
The Welsh Government has published new standards which aim to improve health services for people with sensory loss. The new All Wales Standards for Accessible Communication and Information for People with Sensory Loss focuses on what people should expect to receive when they access healthcare. These standards apply to adults, young people and children.
Inspiring nursing acts as an antidote to bad media coverage
Martin Jones writes about the often unsung gratitude and empowerment of patients, thanks to kind, caring nurses. Source: Nursing Times.
Lessons must be learned from governance failings in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
The National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee’s report into the events that led to the resignation of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s chair and chief executive earlier this year, says that it is vital that action is taken to avoid similar events in other health boards across the country. Source: Wales Online.
Healthcare Inspectorate Wales Publishes Inspection Report on Powys Teaching Health Board
A Healthcare Inspectorate Wales dignity and cleanliness inspection report has raised concerns about the lack of secure storage of medications, inadequate completion of documentation and the use of generic care plans at Bronllys Hospital and Bro Ddyfi Community Hospital
Dr Foster identifies 13 trusts with high mortality ratios
Thirteen hospital trusts have higher than expected mortality indicator scores, according to an extract from the latest report by health analytics firm Dr Foster which has been shared with Health Service Journal.
Towards whole person care
This IPPR paper reviews the case for change in the English health and care system and considers how to move towards a whole person care approach.
Patient stories 2013: time for change
The aim of this Patient's Association report is to amplify the voices of individual patients to highlight wider trends, with particular reference to the key themes of the Francis Inquiry report.
Avoiding unhappy returns
This Royal Voluntary Service research finds that almost 150,000 older people had no support on returning home from hospital and for those that did get some kind of help, approximately 20 per cent didn’t receive continuing support.
Hospital food 'needs legally-binding standards'
A leading campaigner is calling for the NHS in England to introduce legally binding standards for hospital food. Source: BBC News
Chief executive Gordon Coutts quits
The chief executive of a hospital under police investigation over alleged manipulation of cancer waiting times has resigned.. Source: BBC News.
NHS on brink of crisis because it became 'too powerful' to criticise
THE NHS should not be treated as a national religion while millions of patients receive a wholly unsatisfactory service from GPs and hospitals David Prior, the chairman of the Care Quality Commission has said. Source: Telegraph
Police begin probe of patient death at Mid Staffs
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said it had recently begun aninvestigation into the death of Ivy Bunn after a multi-agency review of more than 200 cases of alleged neglect. Source: Nursing Times.
Former Cambridge nurse struck off for forging references
Paul Laminoza has been struck off the NMC register after forging references to get a job at a Cambridge hospital.
Essential reading for smart spending: Dr Foster hospital guide 2013
This Dr Foster Intelligence report examines how financial austerity is affecting the way money is spent on hospital treatments; the impact of drug and alcohol problems on patients and hospitals; the quality of care at weekends; and the measurement of hospital mortality.
GMC launches two new national training survey reports
The GMC has launched two new national training survey reports. The first report, Concerns about patient safety, includes an analysis of patient safety concerns and the second, Undermining, covers bullying and undermining behaviour and plans to work with others, such as the royal colleges, to combat this kind of behaviour in clinical environments.
Liverpool Care Pathway being 'rebranded' not axed
The discredited Liverpool Care Pathway is to be rebranded rather than abolished senior doctors have said. Doctors who led criticism of the pathway say new draft guidance outlining a replacement scheme will perpetuate many of its worst practices, allowing patients to suffer days of dehydration, or to be sedated, leaving them unable to even ask for food or drink. Source: Telegraph.
Transitions to palliative care for older people in acute hospitals
This NIHR study finds that patients with palliative care needs represent a significant proportion of the hospital inpatient population and that there is a significant gap between NHS policy regarding palliative and end-of-life care management in acute hospitals inEngland and current practice.
Hard truths: essential actions
In November 2013, the government published its full response to the Report of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry by Robert Francis QC. The focus of this Health Foundation briefing is on bridging the gap between the actions set out by the government and their practical application by people working in the service
RESIDENTIAL AND SOCIAL CARE
Basic needs of care home residents are not being met
Care homes are failing to meet the basic needs of residents such as making sure they have food and water, Esther Rantzen has said, as she reveals her newly opened helpline has received hundreds of calls reporting abuse in its first week. Source: Telegraph.
Independent review into alleged abuse and neglect at South Wales care homes
An independent review will take place into alleged abuse and neglect in care homes across South Wales, the First Minister has announced. Source: Wales Online.
Sleeping Cornwall care home nurse struck off
A nurse who switched off people's alarms in a care home so he could sleep on his night shift has been struck off Source: BBC News.
Elm View nursing home bosses jailed for neglect
A former nursing home owner and its manager have been jailed for 12 months for neglecting elderly people. Source: BBC News
Nurses who left pensioners at Northampton care home malnourished found guilty of neglect
Five nurses have been found guilty by a misconduct panel of neglect at a Northampton care home where pensioners lived on porridge and had pressure sores so deep their bones were exposed. Source:Northampton Chronicle
Failing to care: NHS continuing care in England
This Parkinson's UK report follows an inquiry into NHS continuing care and finds that people with Parkinson's are often left to cover the cost of care themselves.
Care recipients fall by a quarter in four years
The number of people getting social care support in Englandhas fallen by a quarter in four years, figures show. The fall has been blamed on budget cuts to councils, which provide social care. Source: BBC News.
Winterbourne Review: transforming care one year on
This report summarises the changes to improve the quality of care for vulnerable people - specifically, for people with learning disabilities or autism who also have mental health conditions or behavioural problems
Mental wellbeing of older people in care homes
This NICE care standard was created to help care homes tackle loneliness, depression and low self-esteem in older people by configuring services to ensure that the right care and support is given.
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