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.
- Shock as NICE halts work on nurse staffing levels guidance
- Unions ‘concerned’ at suspension of safe staffing guidance
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.