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CNO orders experienced nurse leader to be sent to Mid Staffs

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An experienced assistant director of nursing is to be deployed to Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust on the orders of chief nursing officer for England Dame Christine Beasley.

The trust has also been instructed to recruit extra frontline nurses, a night matron and a professional development nurse in response to a review by the Department of Health’s emergency care tsar, published last week.

Professor Sir George Albert, national clinical director for urgent and emergency care, carried out a follow-up review of the trust at the request of ministers following the Healthcare Commission’s highly critical report published in March.

He concluded that there have been significant improvements since the original investigation, which began in 2007, and care was now safe. But he said there were still too few nurses at the trust.

Nursing levels were ‘unsatisfactory’ in A&E and adverse publicity had also deterred qualified staff from working on three of the trust’s medical wards, he said.

Professor Alberti said: ‘There continues to be a major need for improvement with regard to nursing at the trust. Many of the problems I heard about relate directly to bedside care. I heard several harrowing patient experiences that had occurred in the last three months. My view is that this relates in part to poor staffing numbers.’

Additionally he said there was still room for improvement in the culture at the trust. ‘In my view, they have been under pressure for so long that “adequate” care is seen to be good enough,’ he said. ‘Overall there needs to be a swift change from a “make do” culture to a “can do” culture, particularly on the wards.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • P Rogers

    My, hasn’t Sir George (allegedly pictured above) changed!

    Sad isn’t it that it will appear to the world that the Chief Nurse has only responded to the appalling failure of the nursing leadership in Mid Staffordshire after a senior doctor validated the former Health Care Commissions findings! Perhaps it’s just a coincidence. Clearly ministers were unmoved by what one must presume were the Chief Nurses protestations that she should be at least allowed to accompany Sir George’s on his follow up review.

    Given the problems with the organisations culture referred to in the quotes attributed to Sir George, Dame Christine’s preferred course of action is, to say the least interesting. It seems that rather than working to manage the problem at Executive Director level she has decided instead to shore up the position of the Trusts Director of Nursing and Governance by sending in an “experienced assistant director”. Setting aside the question of precisely what constitutes an experienced assistant director, the decision reflects the all too frequent tendency of nursing ‘leaders’ to go to any lengths to mitigate problems with senior colleagues rather than actually grasp the nettle and deal with the issues directly, something they’re happy to do when problems arise with more junior staff.

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  • Sorry about that, the picture used was different to that in the magazine.<br/><br/>regards, Nursing Times

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