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Mid Staffs campaigners to protest over staffing guidance


Patients and families who campaigned for a public inquiry into care failings at the former Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust are to march on Whitehall in protest at the suspension of work on nurse staffing guidelines.

Members of the group Cure the NHS plan to march from Downing Street to Richmond House on 18 June at 2pm.

The campaign group, which was instrumental in raising awareness about the issues at Mid Staffs, have also appealed for nurses to join them on the march.

There was shock last week when it was revealed that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence was abandoning its programme on safe nurse levels.

The development of safe nurse staffing guidelines by NICE was a recommendation of the Mid Staffs public inquiry by Sir Robert Francis, which was subsequently taken forward by the Department of Health.

The surprise suspension of the programme was revealed last week in a leaked email from NICE chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon, following discussions between senior leaders at NHS England.

The revelation also came just hours after NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens described the NICE work as “too mechanistic” in a speech to the NHS Confederation conference in Liverpool.

Mr Stevens said work on determining safe staffing levels would instead be taken on by the CNO’s office, which is part of NHS England.

In an interview with Nursing Times, CNO for England Jane Cummings defended the decision to take over the programme from NICE, in the wake of criticism from nursing unions and nurses on social media.

Sir Robert Francis, himself, has also expressed serious concerns over the decision to suspend the programme of work that he recommended to determine safe nurse staffing levels.


Readers' comments (3)

  • michael stone

    Good on them - I wish them luck.

    However, I suspect that hardly any laymen would understand the significance of moving the work from NICE to NHS England, so this is a difficult point to get across to 'the public'.

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  • Well intentioned but, really??- the existing NICE guidance still stands (and doesn't set standards as there isn't enough evidence). there is even less empirical evidence available for the outstanding areas than for hospitals so NICE would recommend professional judgement - which we've had since early 70s

    Would be nice if the media produced a balanced report rather than the moral panic we have seen- the outrage is political not related to safe staffing at all

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  • Tell them to bring in "Safeguarding and the CQC , if this had been a Nursing Home it would have been closed down years ago.

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