Steps that all health professionals can take in order to improve the care we offer to patients
What I want as a consumer of healthcare is for the NHS to deliver a service that is harm free, delay free, and complaint free.
In order for this to become a reality we need to find out from patients about their experience of being a patient and act on any problems they bring up.
It is essential to work with patients and their families to make shared decisions and deliver a consistently high-quality service that focuses equally on the quality of treatment and the quality of care.
Most importantly, we must ensure that all patients accessing the NHS are treated with dignity, empathy, kindness and respect.
Staff are our first line of defence in relation to quality of care and we must ensure change is delivered by these frontline teams at the bedside. To do this, we need to strengthen our leadership capability at every level – but particularly our senior sisters and charge nurses.
This will encourage all staff members to work together to deliver a supportive culture and provide high-quality multi-disciplinary care.
There needs to be a reduction in the amount of bureaucracy and paperwork staff are required to complete, although it is right that we should be held to account for our actions and have the courage to speak up.
And for me, as a leader of nurses, it is about building pride in our profession and giving patients confidence. It is essential for leaders to be role models, acting with kindness and compassion and enabling nursed and midwives to deliver kind and compassionate care.
Leaders must have an unrelenting focus on high-quality care and be open to challenge. Ultimately, we must remain true to the reason we came into this profession - to make a difference.
Steve Hams is Interim Director of Nursing at Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust