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7 reasons why nurses should care about the upcoming Francis Report


As a nurse why should you be bothered about the upcoming Francis Report? Here’s seven reasons why

  1. Whether you’re on the ward, in the community or sitting in a director’s office, the Francis inquiry is likely to impact on how essential nursing care is delivered in your organisation. It is expected to discuss areas including: neglect of privacy and dignity, continence care, pressure area care, hygiene, nutrition and hydration, safety, record keeping and communication
  2. There will be much talk of how nurse education and training needs to change, for example whether students need to be taught “compassion” and how much continual professional development registered nurses need to carry out each year
  3. If you’re a health care assistant or you work with health care assistants, the report could recommend tighter rules on delegation and regulation
  4. Patients and relatives may want to talk with you about the findings of the Francis Report and seek reassurance about the standards of care they are receiving
  5. The Francis Report will question – are you capable of providing compassionate care?
  6. Next week there will be an onslaught of public and media criticism of nurses. As a nurse you will need to communicate nursing’s core values and work to win back public confidence
  7. This report is your opportunity to discuss your concerns about standards of care and how core patient centred values can be embedded into health services

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest from the Francis Report into the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust? Visit our tailored Francis Report channel with the latest rolling news and analysis


Readers' comments (97)

  • Seven reasons why the nursing times should re-direct its focus onto health management and politics at large, where it belongs:

    1. The entire situation was one of poor management and the permission of standards to decline. Basic nursing care takes time, resources and people. This and only this was the issue. Standards will always slip when one expects something to come from nothing.

    2. Nurse education does need to change but not because compassion was lacking. Rather the flimsy character trait of compassion relies on a house of cards and ideal circumstances on order to be evident. Again, nothing to do with us, rather the environment at Mid Staffs required compassion to be dropped in favour of nurses CHOOSING what can be done and what cannot.

    3.Healthcare assistants are not nurses therefore they cannot and will not be included in GUIDING OR DEFINING our profession. They are our assistants. Nothing more, nothing less.

    4. Most likely less than 1% of patients will have read the report compared to reading what the newspaper has summarized for them (read given them an opinion to adopt). The findings of this report are likely to be ignored as most will not fond it applies to their hospital. Managers will still preside over poor ideas and will rewarded for the ongoing destruction of the NHS.

    5. Compassion is not competence and compassionate care or any other kind cannot be performed if the environment does not allow it. It is up to government and management to work this one out. Do they do the right thing or the wrong thing. The closing of Lewisham hospitals key services suggests that the wrong thing for society is still the in vogue choice.

    6. EVERY week there is an onslaught on our profession. We are used to it. What does this publication do as a professional mouthpiece? Some might say nothing ay all. Core values are for corporations not people or professionals. We have a code of conduct. You may ask no more of us.

    7. We are be never asked our opinions about anything crucial or strategic. So if we are asked about this, we all kind of know it is simply to pay lip service to issues secondary to what we care about.

    Try as they might they cannot force us to bend over. This is a conspiratorial effort for governments and the media to attempt to persuade the general public that we don't deserve better pay and more influence in healthcare at large. They know that nurses could resolve every problem within a decade. They also know that all of us are against handing over large sections to friends of MPs simply because they went to school together and their business needs somewhere to start.

    That is the truth and it is painful to read, but read between the lines we must. What happened was tragic, but there is no way that it was not widely known by those in charge of that place that things were bad. It is not unusual, they were just caught as it was politically expedient.

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  • Anonymous | 1-Feb-2013 9:45 pm

    "Try as they might they cannot force us to bend over."

    Eh.... it is precisely because nurses bend over daily that 'They' were allowed to get away with it for so long. Stop blaming everyone else and ditch the delusional ranting. This report is everything to do with us. Unless and until nurses face up to the fact that they could and should have done more (and I don't just mean Mid Staffs), things will never change. The "A big boy did and ran away" mentality helps no one.

    Don't wait to be asked for your opinion. The reason nobody listens is because it is not being said loudly enough. Shout it out. Take to the streets. Be persistent and consistent.

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  • Anonymous | 31-Jan-2013 9:21 pm

    "Stop it. Dry your tears. Take your breaks every time you are due them, bury the management under a pile of incident forms by completing them every time an incident occurs, refuse to participate in audits and the completion of unnecessary paperwork, refuse to do anything superfluous that takes you away from patient care."


    BURY the management...BURY the beggars! HA!...That'll teach em!...Ha! The incompetent idiots! BURY THEM!!!!!!!....


    So go on then...fill in them forms - enough to bury them mind you...coz you filling in the forms ain't gonna take you away from your 'patient care' eh?..

    Good job you posted "Anonymously" that the name you will put on your incident forms?
    Coz if it is, then I'm gonna fill in an incident form about that!

    I've done my share of the forms and I can tell you that the "management" aren't buried.
    Why not help instead?

    You know...."be part of the solution, not the problem" kind of thing?

    As usual, there's lots of bitching here - enough to make sure we perpetuate the 'them and us' thing and ensure that nurses DONT unite coz it seems a lot of these posts are here to show how clever and better "anonymous" is than "anonymous".

    Use your name.
    Cheer up.
    Stop whinging, get your hands dirty and make a difference.

    Rant over.

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  • yes we can fill out forms and report staffing issues to our managers but the point is, if a patient requires analgesia, bedpan, walking to the loo, drink of water then who is going to do it if there are not enough staff and we want to go for a break. that is what many of us have trouble with, leaving a patient wanting something.

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  • Anonymous | 2-Feb-2013 12:39 pm

    what about your own needs after a very lengthy postponed loo break? do this too often and it could give rise to urinary retention which can become chronic, detrusor muscle spasm, a tracking urinary track infection to the kidneys, and even a Ca bladder!

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  • Anonymous | 2-Feb-2013 1:03 pm

    Anonymous | 2-Feb-2013 12:39 pm

    ... oh, and not to mention very painful renal calculi?

    ... and besides, how long would you have to wait to fix your hair and makeup?

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  • Tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 2-Feb-2013 1:03 pm

    quite right. After spending 20 plus years not taking a loo break i got a kidney infection. Running around with the bladder the size of a beach ball or waiting until you are going to burst before taking a leak is not really going to help you remain continent in later life. Thankfully i recovered from my kidney infection but it took a months treatment of antibiotics to get a grip on it. Note to self. Don't wait until it's too late.

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  • Tinkerbell

    Seven reasons why the nursing times should re-direct its focus onto health management and politics at large, where it belongs:

    Anonymous | 1-Feb-2013 9:45 pm

    Totally agree, nursing has completely lost it's focus. This is serious and should be our main focus. Until we get this right everything else is academic and inconsequential comment.

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  • tinkerbell | 2-Feb-2013 1:45 pm

    Anonymous | 2-Feb-2013 1:03 pm

    embarrassing too if you get caught out by an emergency!

    an elderly friend of mine once had an such a moment on the stairs of a café.

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  • Delusional ranting. I wish. Delusional is believing you could do more. Considering how limited our influence is I'm. Somewhat suprised that you consider more is possible with what we have to work with. That is delusion epitomised.
    What this person is saying is she doesn't do enough and identifies with the persona of the lazy nurse.
    I don't.

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  • Anonymous | 2-Feb-2013 2:42 pm

    Your rant was delusional.

    You are just a big part of the problem. The lack of aspiration and inability to accept responsibility is stunning, but typical of a nurse too lazy to get off her backside to change things for the better. When the likes of you is what we have to work with, it is indeed an uphill fight.

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  • Anonymous | 2-Feb-2013 12:39 pm

    Those are just excuses to do nothing.

    If you continue to do nothing, your patients will have to wait longer to be attended to and that will be your fault, because you knew about the short staffing and did nothing to address it.

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  • Tinkerbell

    what's wrong with the occasional rant on NT?

    It's a release valve. Better than ending up on antidepressants. When you suppress more than you express you could be in trouble. Look on it as a service that NT are providing nurses if nothing else.

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  • michael stone

    Martin Barrow, Chris Smyth Times Feb 2nd 2013 page 12 (extracts) - a piece in which Dr peter Carter is quoted, and he/article said among other things:

    A repeat of the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal, which led to the deaths of hundreds of patients, is inevitable, the head of Britain's nurses has warned.
    Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, told The Times that cuts in nursing staff, low morale and pressure to meet financial targets had created an atmosphere of fear, and put patients at greater risk of poor care and neglect. Hospital staff feared they would be victimised for raising the alarm over abuse and mistreatment, undermining efforts to detect failings within the NHS, he said.
    Dr Carter, whose organisation represents 400,000 nurses, midwives and support workers, said: "Will there be another Mid Staffs? Yes, sadly there will be. There are 1.2 million people employed in the NHS and there is a hospital in every town. It would be foolish to say everything in the garden is roses.
    "Mid Staffs cannot be an isolated incident. The fact is, the service is under huge strain. Trusts are not thinking intelligently about how they deliver care and are simply cutting the numbers of frontline staff. Our members have a personal and professional responsibility to raise concerns."

    Dr Carter told The Times: "The vast majority of patients still get good care, but that is no consolation to those who don't. Mid Staffs has got this massive profile now, but there have been many others like it ... Bristol Royal Infirmary, Basildon, Alder Hey. The report into Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells [where hundreds of patients died after an outbreak of the superbug C-difficile] is painful to read. On the wards there were beds that were eight inches apart ... what the hell were the managers doing, but also what was going on with the nursing culture? There was a culture of bullying and intimidation.

    "If the board had spent time walking the wards, talking to patients and staff, just doing their jobs, they may have saved hundreds of lives."

    I ASKED MANAGER/NOBODY 'do your senior managerial colleagues walk around the wards, and her answer was (from memory) 'only when there is a photo opportunity'.

    Dr Heather Wood, who investigated Mid Staffs, is on the front page of today's Daily telegraph:

    She said there was a "horrific culture" of bullying, with local managers being directly threatened by their superiors that they must meet targets and that ultimately directors of finance were in charge isntead of doctors.

    Dr Wood also said the problems were a direct result of the "ruthless implementation of targets regardless of the cost downstream that came from the top, from No 10 and the department of Health".

    Almost none of the professionals, are going to come out looking good !

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  • Between 2005 and 2008 somewhere between 400 and 1,200 patients are estimated to have died unnecessarily due to appalling standards of care. The first Francis report, published in 2010, listed historic understaffing of nurses as one of a number of reasons for poor care. It is no longer excusable for nurses to tolerate under staffing. It is also counter-productive and cheap to accuse those who advocate taking correct and appropriate measures to tackle these situations, as "having the persona of a lazy nurse". That's a bullying tactic, but quite typical in this profession.

    I fully expect that, once the Francis Report is in the public domain, the Nursing profession will be the subject of great scrutiny and will be asked to answer for the lack of action by nurses themselves in Mid Staffs. Throwing your hands in the air and saying, "Nobody listens to us", when you have not raised your voice in complaint or even completed an incident form (which many haven't); or simply listing excuses for why you haven't attempted to protect your patients, simply won't wash.

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  • Maybe that's the plan, nurses work without breaks. One arm has an IV infusion for hydration, attached to a meds trolley/zimmer. Urinary catheter + BMS in at your other ends. Stashed in your trolley is packets of biccies + choco bars for energy/munch and cold cup of tea to wet your lips.

    Compassionate care doesn't mean we're glued to patients' 24/7.
    It may mean we're away periodically, dealing with other responsibilities, including looking after our own health + safety, to ensure ALL our patients are cared for based on their needs, not wants.

    At court, judges will decide our fate. They will be clued up on this and other reports to help form their decisions.
    So no messing with any QCs, wigs or no whigs ;o)

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  • Studelicious | 2-Feb-2013 3:04 am

    And your name is?

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  • Maybe patients dying in dreadful conditions isn't enough to shake up the profession. But if it isn't, then I despair. Well over half a million nurses in this country. We should be on the streets protesting against conditions which facilitate such abuse.

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  • Studelicious | 2-Feb-2013 3:04 am
    Anonymous | 31-Jan-2013 9:21 pm

    Yeah excellent! I speak from experience. As a result taking action, we now have additional 2.6 WTE trained staff in our ward and a new manager (although the crap old one only got a sideways move).We became a thorn in the side of management. One our patients took our concerns for patient care to the local paper and told it from his view. Hence the anonymity.... a bit like yourself. (Having a pseudonym and a silly avatar doesn't tell anyone who you are, you know.)

    Our patients are safer and receive better care, because understaffing is no longer an issue in our ward. We acted as a group and got a result. Now you can continue apace with your petty little remarks and endless list of excuses, but are your patients any better off for it? I doubt it.

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  • No my post was neither delusional nor ranting and is in fact you who is the problem. You are projecting your mediocre nursing ability onto those like myself who attempt to do a job we are more or less prevented from doing well. I can guess that you are the type of person who is average at everything whereas I excel.
    You and I cannot accept responsibility for others. That I understand whereas you do not get ir. You should leave the conversation now as you are too uninformed and too unenlightened to participate

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