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Hunt: Naming policy a 'huge step' for patient safety

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt tasked the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to develop the new "name above the bed" policy that will see every hospital patient assigned a named doctor who is responsible for their care.

Patients tell us that, too often, their care isn't joined up.

That's why every patient should have a single responsible clinician whose job it is to help them with anything that goes wrong and make sure they get the care they need.

This guidance will make that a reality - it has been developed by clinicians, for clinicians, and is a huge step forward for patient safety.

– Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Patients to get named doctor responsible for care

New guidance from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges says every hospital patient should have a named doctor taking responsibility for their care.

Every hospital patient should have a named doctor taking responsibility for their care, leading medics have said.
Every hospital patient should have a named doctor taking responsibility for their care, leading medics have said. Credit: PA

The Government said it would introduce the measure as part of its response to the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry.

The "name above the bed" policy will ensure that patients and their relatives and carers will know which doctor is ultimately responsible for all aspects of their care, the AMRC said.

Around 40% of hospitals in England are understood to provide such details but health officials want to see the initiative rolled out across the board.

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Baby blood infections 'strongly linked' to nutrient liquid

Health chiefs have ordered an investigation into how a batch of liquid nutrients may have given babies blood poisoning.

Public Health England (PHE)said 15 cases of septicaemia, including the death of one baby, looked to be "strongly linked" to an intravenous product that is given to babies who are unable to feed normally.

The babies, many of whom were premature, were being treated in NHS neonatal intensive care units when it is thought they acquired the infection.

A statement from the health body said investigations with a manufacturer had already identified a possible incident that could have caused contamination.

The PHE's Incident Director, Mike Catchpole, said the body had "acted quickly" to alert hospitals to the potential problem and remove any remaining stocks of the product.

Hospital 'potentially put mothers and babies at risk'

The Care Quality Commission report into Medway NHS Foundation Trust said:

We looked at emergency equipment for mothers and babies, which included a defibrillator on the postnatal ward, the resuscitation trolley on both wards, and some resuscitaires used for babies.

This equipment should be checked and cleaned daily. The records showed that emergency equipment was not checked appropriately.

This did not demonstrate reliable procedures, and potentially put mothers and babies at risk that equipment may not be in correct working order when an emergency occurred.

'Urgent action' needed at hospital maternity unit

Medway NHS Foundation Trust has been told it must take "urgent action" to improve safety on a maternity unit. Credit: PA Wire

A hospital trust which is already in special measures has been told it must take "urgent action" to improve safety on a maternity unit.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued three formal warnings to Medway NHS Foundation Trust following an unannounced inspection at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, Kent.

The hospital failed to meet any of the six standards checked by the CQC and was found to have too few midwives to properly care for mothers and babies.

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Chief Inspector on building 'army' to assess hospitals

The new Chief Inspector of Hospitals has spoken to ITV News about his plans to build a "small army" of inspectors.

Professor Sir Mike Richards said: "I'm looking for both patients and doctors and nurses who really want to help this process of making sure the NHS is as good as it possible can be.

He also said he hoped in his new role, he would able to bring "a belief that rigorous measurement and assessment of hospitals is the first stage in an improvement programme".

Nick Clegg: 'It's about accountability' in the NHS

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said the government is trying to introduce a "new culture where you don't hide away mistakes" in the National Health Service.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said "it's about accountability" in the NHS. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Speaking on his LBC 97.3 phone-in show, he said: "It's about accountability and the NHS is a public service, paid for by everybody, for all of us. That's what this is about.

"We are, bit by bit, introducing a new spirit of accountability which I think will raise standards over time."

'Good potential step forward' in hospital inspections

In response to plans for NHS patients to join hospital inspection teams, the Patients Association tweeted:

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Good potential step forward in CQC inspection process today. A strong regulator vital to keeping pts safe and treated well.

Read: New Chief Inspector of Hospitals wants patients to join assessment teams

Labour backs hospital inspector's plans

Shadow health minister Jamie Reed welcomed the Chief Inspector of Hospital's reforms. Credit: PA

Shadow health minister Jamie Reed said: "The new chief inspector role is welcome and he is right to pilot his plans with a varied group of hospitals.

"Sir Mike Richards will have our support in exposing poor care in the A&Es, wards and elderly care services he visits.

"Four thousand nursing jobs have been lost on this Government's watch and A&E queues have reached their longest in a decade because of David Cameron's NHS betrayal."

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