The independent inquiry into serious failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust should act as a “siren” across the NHS to show the consequences of focusing on “process over patients”, the RCN has said.
RCN chief executive Peter Carter said it was “highly inappropriate” that the trust was so firmly focused on achieving foundation trust status while failing to deal with serious issues, such as poor staffing levels and skill mix.
“The RCN believes individual examples of poor care are indefensible. However, it cannot be right for one nurse to run a whole nightshift on her own with a bank healthcare assistant,” he said
“Just as important as numbers is getting the skill mix right – having untrained staff performing advanced duties is an accident waiting to happen. We believe those in charge throughout this terrible period should be held to account,” he added.
The college said systemic failures and a lack of leadership were responsible for “massive failures in patient care” at the trust. They have called on all political parties to commit to standing up for staff who speak out about poor practice.