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RCN CONGRESS LATEST: Management blamed for C Diff failures

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'Management failure' rather than poor nursing was the key issue at a Kent trust where up to 90 patients died last year from Clostridium difficile infection, according to RCN general secretary Peter Carter.
Mr Carter made a robust defence of nurses in the wake of a BBC Panorama programme, screened on Sunday, about events at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.

'It was very easy for some people to point the finger at nursing staff and healthcare assistants because they were the ones having to deal with the consequences of what was happening at the trust,' he told delegates at RCN Congress in Bournemouth yesterday.

'But the majority of staff were hard-working, conscientious and diligent. They were being asked to work in deplorable conditions – understaffed and under-resourced, beds eight inches apart, filthy conditions and inadequate isolation facilities,' he said.

'No, the problems at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells were not caused by poor nursing staff, they were caused by poor management. And it was decisions taken in the boardroom that impacted on nurses and, ultimately, on the patients who suffered so tragically,' Mr Carter said.
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