The Royal College of Nursing has acknowledged it has “lessons to learn” from the way it handled events surrounding the care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.
The college was criticised in the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust public inquiry report, published earlier today.
The report said nursing staff at the trust “did not receive effective support or representation” from the RCN, and that there was an “inherent conflict between the professional representative and trade union functions of the RCN which may diminish the authority of its voice on professional issues”.
In its initial response to the report today, the college said: “The RCN is acutely aware that it has real lessons to learn from how it supported members locally at Mid Staffs.
“Although we have already put in place numerous measures, we will look at the report in depth to see what other steps we can take to improve our effectiveness.”
Responding more generally to the report, RCN chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter said he welcomed the “powerful and monumental report”, which put “patients at the heart of NHS care”.
“Appalling care cannot be tolerated and everything should be done to ensure that it does not happen again,” he said.
He noted that it delivered key recommendations “which we support and have been calling for, including the registration and regulation of health care assistants”.
“The RCN has consistently called for the regulation of health care assistants for the benefit of patients in all care settings including older people’s care. We also welcome a greater call for whistleblowing from staff across the NHS,” he added.