The chairman of the inquiry into the scandal at the Mid Staffordshire hospital trust has welcomed the government's response to his report - but warned that it will only be judged properly "over the next few months".
Robert Francis told the Health Service Journal last night:
"Even though it is clear it does not accept all my recommendations, the government's statement today indicates its determination to make positive changes to the culture of the NHS, in part by adopting some of my recommendations and in part through other initiatives."
He added: "The overall effectiveness of the response will have to be judged on the detail developed over the next few months, and the decisions taken about recommendations on which no decision has been taken at this time."
The Head of Nursing at Unison says even if recruitment standards are consistent across the country, today's recommendations don't go far enough. Ail Adams said:
"Nurses have been trained in the fundamentals of care.
"But I think the Government has fallen short today with staffing levels. It's all very well to recommend the health watchdog NICE develops the guidelines for them to be applied locally."
"But if we look at other international models, in America and Australia they have minimum nurse to patient ratios."
Speaking to ITV News Julie Bailey, from the 'Cure the NHS' campaign, said today's announcement only amounted to a small step in the right direction.
"We know there are failings in the NHS now and there's nothing being done about it. We need to ensure the culture changes, and the behaviour of the people in the NHS, and that starts at the top.
"These were systemic failings from the ward right to the top of Whitehall. I don't seem to see anything in the recommendations to ensure that Whitehall has learnt."
Today's announcement from Jeremy Hunt means failing NHS bosses will be put on a blacklist which will stop them working in the health service:
- The Health Secretary wants a "national barring list" for managers who let their patients and the NHS down
- If trusts do not deliver adequate care to patients they could be put into a "failure regime" and may ultimately be put into administration
- Mr Hunt also confirmed that hospitals would be subject to Ofsted-style ratings - where hospitals will be rated as outstanding, good, requiring improvement or poor
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, went on to attack Labour for not apologising for what he calls the 'targets culture' that helped fuel the crisis at Mid Staffordshire.
The Government wants student nurses to spend a year working as support workers and healthcare assistants before taking a degree. Jeremy Hunt told the Commons it would lead to a better understanding of the caring role of frontline staff.
The Health Secretary says the Government is looking at new legal sanctions at a corporate level for NHS organisations which withhold information about concerns. The Francis Report suggested it should apply to individuals.
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said:
- No hospital will be rated as good or outstanding if fundamental standards are breached
- Trusts will be given a strictly limited period of time to rectify any such breaches