The man leading the government’s NHS red tape review has told Nursing Times he plans to spend time working with nurses on the frontline to find out how paperwork can be cut.
The review by NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar was announced by health secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier this week. It forms part of the government’s response to the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust public inquiry report.
Mr Hunt pledged that any changes made as a result of the report into how systems failed to spot poor care at Mid Staffordshire would not increase the bureaucratic burden on hospitals.
He is hoping the review will identify ways to reduce bureaucracy by a third, a target Mr Farrar described as “ambitious but realistic”.
“A third of people’s time could have a real impact,” he said. “The success of this work will be demonstrated by whether this has made a material impact on people at ward level.”
Royal College of Nursing policy director Howard Catton told Nursing Times the most common complaints from nurses about bureaucracy were about being asked to provide the same information more than once and a lack of technology.
Mr Farrar said reducing duplication would be a focus of the review along with looking at how data was collected, what type of data was collected and how to free up staff time.
Unison head of nursing Gail Adams told Nursing Times time spent on form filling could be reduced and patient safety improved by simplifying and standardising documentation between organisations, such as the surgical safety checklist.
The checklist was originally devised by the World Health Organization and adapted for England and Wales by the National Patient Safety Agency.