Cuts in senior nursing posts are compromising care, says RCN's Janet Davies

 Care Quality Commission report says 61% of hospitals 'require improvement' and 13% are inadequate on safety

Too many senior nursing posts have been cut and the effect is now being felt on the health service, RCN general secretary Janet Davies has said in response to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) State of Care report. 

The regulator published its first comprehensive study of standards in health and social care services across England today and said ‘safety is our biggest concern’.

The CQC found 61% of hospitals now require improvement on safety and 13% are inadequate on safety.

One quarter of GP practices and GP out-of-hours services inspected required improvement on safety and 6% were rated inadequate.

Ms Davies said: ‘Inadequate leadership and year-on-year cutbacks lead to ineffective organisations and compromised care. 

‘This report is stark but the issues it raises are not new – there needs to be a concerted effort from government, the NHS and local managers to ensure that there is enough staff to get through the coming winter and the years to come.’

Of 150 NHS and independent acute hospitals looked at by the CQC, two received an overall rating of outstanding; 51 (34%) were good; 85 (57%) required improvement and 12 (8%) were inadequate.

Eighty-five per cent of GP services are providing good or outstanding care but almost one in nine (11%) required improvement. 

Ms Davies said the report found a ‘clear link between good care and good workforce planning’.

She added that such planning isn’t solely about numbers but also about the right levels of skills, seniority and experience to improve care. 

She said: ‘Experienced nursing leaders need to be given the authority to deliver for patients – both in the boardroom and on the ward.

'Whether nursing care is delivered, in hospitals, care homes, or the community, it depends on having the right number of staff with the right skills and support. There must be more investment in training nurses, keeping nurses and listening to nurses.'

To read the full report, click here.  


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