David Cameron targets patient care improvement

 

David Cameron visited NHS hospitals today to highlight a new plan to drive up care standards.

Under the initiative announced by the Prime Minister, nurses will be told to undertake hourly ward rounds while members of the public will be allowed to inspect hospitals.

Mr Cameron said most patients are happy with NHS care but there have been well publicised cases of patients not getting good basic treatment on issues such as food and drink or being treated with respect.

The Prime Minister, accompanied by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, toured Salford Royal Hospital in Greater Manchester, which he called a "model" hospital, where he met patients and talked to nurses, sisters and matrons, praising the general level of nursing care in the NHS.

He said: "I think the standard is very high, in the overwhelming majority of cases people rightly revere our nurses in Britain, but it's quite clear in a limited number of cases standards have fallen below what is acceptable, we have seen that in CQC (Care Quality Commission) reports, we have seen it with our own experiences as constituency MPs, elderly relatives not getting the care they need. And so what we need to do is make sure that doesn't happen.

"Here in Salford we are getting hourly nursing rounds where patients are asked every hour about whether there are any problems, making sure we have patient-led inspections of hospitals, making sure we have simple service where we ask patients and staff, 'Would you be happy for your relatives to be treated in this hospital?'

"Making sure that managers of hospitals, the boards of hospitals, look at the quality of care above everything else, simple straightforward things that are done here in the best hospitals in our NHS, but need to be done everywhere else."

The Government has pledged to "put right" the problems after the CQC found issues with dignity and respect for patients in hospitals up and down the country.

The Prime Minister said hourly ward rounds, the system already running at Salford Royal, had decreased the number of falls by patients, bed sore complaints had gone down and hospital infections were "rock bottom".

He added: "This is a fabulous example of the best of our NHS by putting care, the quality of care, the quality of nursing before everything else and we need to do that in every hospital in our country."

Both the Prime Minister and Health Secretary followed infection control instructions to wash their hands, roll their sleeves up and tuck their ties into their shirts as they toured the wards.

As he scrubbed-up, Mr Cameron asked nurses: "How to get your children to wash their hands, any tips on that?"

Mr Cameron had a meeting with a group of matrons to talk about providing leadership on wards and excellence in patient care.

Charlotte Barrett, a ward matron, then gave him a tour of one ward where he spoke to patient Julie Lawrence, 51, from Leigh, near Wigan, about the hourly ward rounds and the Prime Minister was then accompanied by Karen Coverley, a nursing director, to speak to patient Deborah Bates, 45, from Bolton, to see how bedside computer systems were cutting down on paperwork.

Mr Lansley asked nurses what sort of things patients were telling them or asking for after hourly rounds were introduced.

Sister Jane Kingham told the Health Secretary a regular request from patients was: "Can I have another brew?"

In October, the CQC found a fifth of NHS hospitals are breaking the law on care of the elderly.

Its study also found half of hospitals are failing to provide all-round good nutrition to elderly patients while 40% do not offer dignified care.

Of 100 hospitals investigated in England, 49 were found to generate minor, moderate or major concerns about nutritional standards for elderly people.

Patients will also lead inspections of hospital wards, with local people becoming part of teams assessing cleanliness, dignity and nutrition.

A new "friends and family test" will also ask whether patients, carers and staff would recommend their hospital to friends and family.

The results will be published and hospital leaders who fail the test will be held to account.

The Prime Minister was also visiting Blackpool Victoria Infirmary later today.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: "People have learnt from bitter experience to take David Cameron's pronouncements on the NHS with more than a pinch of salt.

"This is the man who promised no top-down reorganisation of the NHS but then brought forward the biggest in its history.

"This is the man who is wasting £3.45 billion on back-office restructuring while axeing 48,000 nursing posts."

Mr Burnham called on the Prime Minister to axe the "unnecessary" revamp of the NHS in England, adding: "His reckless decision to reorganise the NHS at this time of financial challenge not only proves he is out of touch but also threatens to throw the entire system into chaos."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
US comedian Bill Mahr
people
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Sport
football
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Life and Style
Models – and musicians – on the catwalk in Dior Homme for the men’s 2015/16 fashion show in Paris
fashionAt this season's Paris shows, various labels played with the city boys' favourite
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

    £15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

    Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

    Ashdown Group: PHP Web Developer / Website Coordinator (PHP, JavaScript)

    £25000 - £28000 per annum + 25 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: PHP Web...

    Recruitment Genius: Estates Projects & Resources Manager

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in London, Manchester, Br...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us