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Staffing: Lack of accountability ‘has put the NHS back years’

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More care in the community, not enough nurses The government’s drive to move more care from acute A&E hospitals into the community will be impossible without a substantial increase in the number of nursing staff

Legislation to address the shortage of registered nurses and nursing staff in England is vital to ensure patient safety, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Chief Executive Dame Donna Kinnair has said.

Giving evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s enquiry into the consultation process, Dame Donna said that ‘successive secretaries of state have taken decisions which mean we cannot deliver the long-term plan. The lack of accountability on staffing has put us back years, so there needs to be an explicit accountability for the workforce with the secretary of state.’

The RCN has reiterated its call for explicit accountability for ensuring a sufficient number of staff across health and care to be enshrined in law.

The organisation’s evidence also stressed that the government’s drive to move more care from acute A&E hospitals into the community will be impossible without a substantial increase in the number of nursing staff.

Additionally, according to the RCN, Integrated Care Providers should only be formed if it can be demonstrated that there will not be an adverse effect on the pay, terms and conditions of any staff involved, or on patient care and safety.

‘There is no delivery of the long-term plan without investment in the workforce,’ added Dame Donna. We cannot go on thinking we can have the same number of nurses and just move them around and feel we can deliver a safe, quality NHS. This is why we need a commitment for accountability. We are talking about accountability to Parliament for the workforce of our biggest treasure, the NHS.’

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Comments

I agree with this article, the NHS is on its knees, the agenda is to move care away from acute hospitals but the infrastructure is not in place to manage this. District nurses need to be managing more complex long term conditions and although HEI's are training them to manage this the workload is so large with less acute care that needs completing to ensure acute hospital admissions don't increase they are not managing the LTC patients. Also trying to prevent admissions is almost impossible and quite often results because there is no social care to enable us keeping patients at home. Community care both Health and Social needs funds to make this change.
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