Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Government Response to the Francis Report

Two issues to discuss today, most important is the response the Health Secretary : Jeremy Hunt is going to give following the Francis Report into the events in Stafford.

The report gave over 200 recommendations and of course effectively amounts to a 'culture' change within the NHS. Hunt isn't expected to respond to these recommendations individually but as you may have seen from the news this morning there are some headline moves and I want to focus on one of these : the proposal that trainee nurses spend part of their training working as care assistants on hospital wards. This would be for up to a year and give the nurses 'front-line hands on front line caring experience' to quote the minister.

This is ludicrous !

Nursing is we are often told a calling, a vocation rather than a 'job' and given that nursing is a degree course akin to that undertaken by solicitors or teachers surely the 3 and a half year nursing course mentions caring, patient support, basic psychology of caring and patient needs (if it doesn't already then it flipping well should).

Also consider the position of those already working as healthcare assistants in hospitals. I'm not sure how many there are working in hospitals (but they join the Royal College of Nursing and have their own clinical journal - www.healthcare-assistants.co.uk. I do know that there are around 14,500 new nurses that qualify each year in the UK - not sure how pleased the existing healthcare assistants are going to be to find 14,000 plus training nurses suddenly nicking their jobs.

It seems to be a pretty poorly thought out knee jerk responses that replicates existing training and upsetting an entire tranche of NHS workers in the process - that should improve healthcare standards.

Secondly, I'm planning to do some reviews into health insurance apps for smart phones (primarily IOS but also possible Android as well). From what I can see some of the main players have a variety of apps but to me they seem a little disappointing - however, I'm going to download them and look into them a little bit more to see what they add to the policy holder experience and if they can ever be a factor in deciding which insurer to recommend to a client.

If any blog reader has any specific apps they use at present or would like me to investigate further please do feel free to drop in some feedback here on the blog or twitter (philknightpch).


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