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Nurses to be checked against compassion standards

A range of new benchmark checks on nursing care standards are to be introduced, the government has announced.

Treating patients with compassion, reducing the number of falls on wards and good hand-washing are some of the indicators that could be introduced, health secretary Alan Johnson said yesterday.

In a keynote speech to an NHS Confederation conference in Manchester, Mr Johnson set out plans to develop a set of ‘metrics’ that assess not only effectiveness and safety of nursing care, but also how compassionately care has been delivered.

This commitment will be included in Lord Darzi’s review of the NHS as part of a quality framework covering the whole range of care that patients receive. Indicators will focus on three overarching themes – compassionate care, effectiveness and safety.

Mr Johnson said: ‘It is a wonderful reflection of the nursing profession that they want to do everything possible to improve the already high standards of care in the NHS. Measuring quality against indicators such as dignity, respect and communication will help them achieve this.’

RCN general secretary Peter Carter said: ‘These new standards are groundbreaking in that they will directly recognise nurses for the kind of care that patients really value.’


Readers' comments (6)

  • I am actually quite insulted by Alan Johnson's proposals, and to think that the RCN think it is a good idea as well! It is just another money waster where the government thinks it is capable of measuring something immeasurable!

    Personally I would think it fake if a nurse is constantly smiling. We are also human beings who have bad days as well as good, however of late due to the added pressures being put on us to meet more and more silly targets, I for one find I am having more and more of the bad!

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  • I think its an excellent idea.
    Patients need kindness and compassion when being cared for.
    I understand (being a Registered Nurse myself) that some resources are scarce and medical staff are pushed at times to their limit, but it dosen't cost anything to be NICE to the people we "help" does it?

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  • I think it is completely necessary to start looking at nurses compassion towards patients and work.
    I think of a nurse being friendly, caring and approachable and working as a healthcare assistant i met a few nurses and to put it bluntly they were any of those listed things.
    I am now a student nurse and every placement we have to pass attitude tests, 2 bad comments in that and we are off the course, thats the way it should be done everywhere, people show there true colour on placement and under stress.

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  • I feel that it is really important that nurses should be commpassionate . In present world i feel due workload pressure we nurses sometimes becomes uncommpassionate .

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  • I think we lost the compassion, when we lost our uniform!!!!

    Wearing trainers and crocs etc where is the professionalism in that. This is beach, leisure wear come on nurses we are more professional than this. lets show our government and all the burocrats what we are made of. Not unprofessional sully, miserable uncaring nurses.

    Though, I have seen a few in my time, they dont deserver the jobs they are given.

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  • I find this somewhat insulting. I pride myself on being compassionate and I feel this is just another " Idea" to try and reassure the public when the real issues are being avoided. I was a patient in a spinal clinic a few week ago. The doctor came in did not introduce himself, did not explain what my x-rays showed and then said he would write to my G.P. I'm still wainthg for my follow up appointment to explain what my condition is.

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