Review of safe staffing levels will go ahead, says health secretary

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt reveals staff staffing review as part of his 25-year plan

Safe staffing guidance drawn up by England's chief nurse Jane Cummings will be independently reviewed by Robert Francis and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the review today when he unveiled his 25-year vision for the NHS.  

Mr Hunt said NHS England director of patient safety Mike Durkin would work with Ms Cummings on the guidance. 'Hopefully I can offer reassurance today this work will be approved by NICE,' he said.

Chief inspector of hospitals Sir Mike Richards will also review and approve the guidance, alongside NICE and SIr Robert, who chaired the 2013 inquiry into care failures at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. Following the Mid Staffs inquiry, which Mr Hunt said had shocked him 'to the core', he declared safe staffing his number-one priority.   

Many nurses recently expressed dismay at a decision to halt NICE's work on safe staffing guidance, commissioned by the Department of Health following the Francis inquiry.  

Today Mr Hunt said he wanted to offer reassurance the work on safe staffing would be robust. 

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