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Putting patients first

There was a report in the daily Mail today about David Cameron telling nurses they should ‘put patients before paperwork’ (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2082883/NHS-care-David-Cameron-says-nurses-told-talk-patients-hospital-wards.html). This of course is perfectly sensible but somehow you get the impression from Mr Cameron that the poor care in hospitals is the fault of the nurses. The reality is that for a long time the regulator has been pushing hospitals and care homes for ‘evidencing of good practice’. Health and Social Care must be the only profession where there is a presumption of ‘guilty unless proven innocent’ and this emphasis on proving yourself innocent, combined with threats of criminal prosecution for non-compliance has inevitably forced staff to a focus on paperwork rather than patient care. As many have predicted for years, this approach is now reaching its inevitable and gruesome dead end.

If the government really wants to make a difference to the care of patients in hospitals and care homes they will need to fundamentally reform the culture and inspection regime of the regulator. Without that no amount of exhortation by the Prime Minister will do a blind bit of difference.

For the past couple of years at Rose Lodge we have had a policy of ‘put residents before paperwork’ and the results are there for all to see: drastically reduced accident rates, and vastly increased health and happiness in the residents.

It is time that regulations and regulators are brought in line with best practice (also known as common sense!).

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