The Conservatives have described as an “insult”, the inclusion of a pledge for nurses to take in the report of the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery, which was published today.
Shadow health minister Anne Milton said: “The idea of a pledge will be seen as an insult to all good nurses. In areas where standards are poor it is naïve to believe it will make any difference to improving care.”
Ms Milton also criticised the review for missing “obvious” ways to improve nursing.
“For example there is no mention of reducing the targets that contributed to the tragedy of mid-Staffordshire nor is there any mention of reducing the unnecessary paperwork that keeps nurses away from their patients,” she said. “If we are going to strengthen the role of the charge nurse and wards sister the Government need to free them up to take control of their wards.”
Patients Association Director Katherine Murphy welcomed the pledge, but said: “It’s a sad indictment that there is a need to restate the commitment of nurses and midwives, the caring profession, to high quality patient care.
“Patients expect compassion from all healthcare professionals, but rightly or wrongly, especially from nurses. And whilst the pledge is a good first step, ensuring every nurse and midwife lives up to it, and more importantly is allowed to live up to it, is the only outcome patients are interested in”.