The new nursing director at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust was moved to tears by some of the stories about poor care standards, and has already set about making sure they will not be repeated
Much of the Healthcare Commission report that originally highlighted fatal care failings at the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust focused on awful nursing care. The commission reported a lack of communication, “lack of basic nursing care, such as poor hydration and nutrition” and a “negative attitude among some of the nurses”.
Julie Hendry joined as interim nursing director in November and has replaced several senior nurses on wards that had problems.
The trust and campaigners want staff to confront the past through what is being referred to as an “honesty and courage” programme.
Staff are to be shown videos of patients and relatives talking about their horrendous experiences at the trust. Ms Hendry says she believes the stories will convince any nurses who still have doubts about the seriousness of the problems: “I’m not someone who cries easily but I have been so choked by the stories.”
Ms Hendry, who joined as interim director of nursing in November, says: “It’s about putting the right people in as ward leaders. If you’ve got highly visible nurse leadership at ward level – your ward sisters and matrons are on the physically wards not in meetings, being reactive, answering complaints. Highly visible clinical leaders who are talking to patients asking if everything is okay, you can address concerns as they arise.
“We are involving patients and the family a lot more, for example in care and discharge planning.”