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Health Committee calls for more openness from hospitals over staffing levels

Posted: 31st October 2013

The Health Select Committee has called for all NHS care providers to provide data on staffing levels at ward level on a daily basis and publish it immediately, as part of a report published by the Select Committee on the future of the NHS post-Francis.

The Committee has also called for greater openness and transparency in the complaints system and for an end to gagging clauses, both of which the Patients Association has called for in the past.  In its submission to the present complaints review the organisation highlighted a number of concerning patient experiences of the existing complaints system.

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, has said that “Nurses need time to care for patients. It cannot get any simpler than that. Yet year after year patients are subjected to poor care. The Patients Association receives thousands of calls and emails detailing distressingly poor care, with nurses repeatedly complaining to patients and relatives that wards are chronically short staffed.

This cannot be allowed to continue, because both staff and patients are being let down. The Government urgently needs to adopt the Francis Report in full, including the adoption of safe staffing levels.

We also need to see real action taken to reform a complaints system which is almost universally believed to be not fit for purpose. Not just empty words and pledges, but tangible action. Everybody knows what needs to be done and this is yet another report that confirms it. Action needs to be taken.”

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