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#NurChat talks about what nurses can learn from the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry

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Did you miss last night’s #NurChat twitter debate? Let us sum it up for you …

The Mid Staffordshire Inquiry has been hitting the nursing headlines for a while now; it came about as a result of poor standards of care at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009. The initial inquiry concluded that patients were routinely neglected by the trusts who were preoccupied with cutting costs targets and processes.  It has been estimated that between 400 and 1200 more people died that would have been expected to. A further public inquiry was opened in November 2010. 

There is no doubt that the Mid Staffordshire inquiry has huge implications for nursing which is why when the subject was suggested for a #NurChat discussion by @nursemaiden I was very glad. My initial thoughts were that this would provide an opportunity for the online nursing community to talk about the issues surrounding Mid Staffs that are important to them. 

The key points of the chat are easy to see in this word cloud:


The three words that stand out the most are CARE, POOR, STAFF and these issues were running themes throughout the discussion. In particular the accounts of poor care that were given by patients and relatives were highlighted as being important and shocking.  I think that this tweet by @Hhaylo sums up initial thoughts by NurChatters - “Mid Staffs has completely changed the focus of nursing, often it takes horrible events, hopefully Winterbourne will do the same”

One of the major issues surrounding Mid Staffs was whistle blowing and this became a major theme of the chat, especially in regard to how concerns from staff were ignored by managers, @Bartontd tweeted: “Ward nurses and A & E reported severe staff shortages.  This was totally ignored. 1 ward sister was in charge of 3 wards for 24 hours”

Concerns were also raised that whistle blowers can often be put off because they are too scared or frightened to speak up. @HollyBest1 tweeted “It must be hard to stand up for what you believe in when faced with a seemingly accepted culture of poor care”

Some of the student nurses and nurse lecturers on the chat were concerned about whistle blowing and student’s @STNNurse_Mikey tweeted “students face the hardest whistle blowing task as it jeopardizes placements, however they have fresh eyes for it and are a necessity” 

There were some suggestions regarding how nursing should tackle whistle blowing in the future @MikkyWatt suggested “Maybe a centralised and anonamised whistleblowing dept for NHS? Easier to do if you aren’t talking to your boss”

@KevinHamUoP tweeted in response “A nationwide whistle blowing hotline?”

NurChat participants went on to discuss what they have learnt from the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry and some of the points raised were very interesting – full details and transcript can be found on the NurChat blog.

For me the one thing that I will take away from this chat is this tweet by @MrsGracePoole “In my team the word Mid Staffs produces blank looks. Hope to change that”  This encompasses exactly what I believe nurses should do in regard to Mid Staffs which is to get the nurse community talking about it.

Teresa Chinn heads up NurChat for Newcross Healthcare Solutions - Nurchat is a fortnightly twitter chat for nurses exploring different topics that vary enormously. Anyone can suggest a NurChat discussion subject simply by tweeting @NurChat or by visiting the NurChat blog

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Readers' comments (1)

  • michael stone

    Nice selection of comments, all in my opinion relevant in terms of lessons which need learning.

    I was surprised by:

    'this tweet by @MrsGracePoole “In my team the word Mid Staffs produces blank looks'

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