Lesley Griffiths AM
Minister for Health and Social Services
12th February 2013
The Report of the Public Inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust
The Francis Report into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust has provided a comprehensive assessment into the roles of commissioning, supervisory and regulatory bodies and why problems were not identified and acted upon sooner.
We very much hope that the findings will not be viewed in Wales as purely an English matter and note the contents of your Ministerial Satement of 7th February. The concerns raised by Ann Clwyd, based upon her personal experience over the care of her husband here in Wales, along with the report from the BBC,12th February, that complaints about the NHS in Wales have more than tripled in 6 years, demonstrates that we have to remain vigilant and respond actively and robustly to improve the quality of care in the NHS in Wales.
In our view the Francis Report offers a further voice confirming many of the concerns raised by the general public in Wales. This view is supported by the Report from the Older Peoples Commissioner in Wales, Dignified Care, a review which examined the experiences of older people in hospital in Wales.
Your statement reflects our own view, we believe Government must tackle the real and perceived lack of compassionate care in the culture within the NHS and not lose sight of the similar concerns in respect of the culture within social care and residential and nursing care.
Government can easily check that a change of culture has occurred. In future people who come into contact with the NHS should never feel that nurses are too busy or too self-important to compassionately care for their needs, or indeed the needs of other patients. Any over-reliance on poorly trained, hard working assistants can not be a substitute, in the Welsh NHS, for qualified nursing and proper staff ratios on wards. Importantly, they should always know, and have free access to, the person in charge, so that concerns can be raised and dealt with.
The Francis Report sets out in detail very sensible proposals for:
It is all common sense really, adding up to a return to old fashioned compassionate nursing.
We are most concerned about this issue, and look forward to the implementation of the proposals in your statement in the light of the Francis Report. We seek reassurance that the progress you mention will continue to be made and that all of the concerns in the Francis Report are addressed (unlike what happened in the wake of the similar recommendations by Professor Sir Ian Kennedy in 2001).
c.c. Sarah Rochira, Older Peoples Commissioner Wales