Nursing numbers 'should be checked daily', say agroup of cross-party MPs
More than half of nurses think their ward or unit is dangerously understaffed, a Nursing Times survey revealed today.
The NHS is looking into revelations that 8,000 patients a week, some elderly and vulnerable, are being sent home from hospital overnight.
Hospitals across England are to take part in a new scheme aimed at helping to rescue vulnerable children from abuse and neglect.
A national database is being set up to record each time a child visits Accident and Emergency, or has an out-of-hours consultation with a GP.
ITV News correspondent Sue Saville reports on the new plans:
Lisa Harker, head of strategy at the NSPCC has welcomed the announcements of plans to log children's visits to A&E on a national database, but has said that it is "down to the quality and the skills" of the professionals involved.
Lisa Harker, head of strategy at the NSPCC, welcomed the announcement of plans to log children's visits to A&E on a national database.
She said: "NHS doctors and nurses are often in the frontline of child protection and play a crucial role in identifying abuse victims as quickly as possible.
"So this new system for sharing information about children at risk should prove an important aid."
Under the Government's new plans, a flag will appear on a child's medical record if they are subject to a child protection plan or are being looked after by the local authority
According to the Department of Health, doctors and nurses will be able to use this information as part of their overall clinical assessment, along with information about where and when children have previously been receiving urgent treatment.
This will help them build up a better picture of what is happening in the child's life so they can alert social services if they think something might be wrong.
The health minister Dr Dan Poulter has defended new measures that will see all children who visit accident and emergency (A&E) departments logged in a database. He said:
– Dr Dan Poulter, health minister
Up until now, it has been hard for frontline healthcare professionals to know if a child is already listed as being at risk or if children have been repeatedly seen in different emergency departments or urgent care centres with suspicious injuries or complaints, which may indicate abuse.
Providing instant access to that information means vulnerable and abused children will be identified much more quickly - which will save lives.
All children who visit accident and emergency (A&E) departments or have out-of-hours GP consultations will be logged in a national database, health minister Dr Dan Poulter has said.
The system is designed to help doctors and nurses spot children who are suffering from abuse or neglect and avoid cases like that of Baby P, he said.
Doctors and nurses will be able to see if the children they treat are subject to a child protection plan or are being looked after, and whether they have been a frequent visitor to A&E.
Dr Sarah Jarvis has told Daybreak that it would be "difficult" to impose a seven-day rule on GPs and hospitals.
She said: "This is not going to be free, there's going to be a lot of bureaucracy and that means more cost for the NHS and patient care would suffer."
Routine operations, consultations and scans could take place over weekends under proposed changes to improve the NHS. Daybreak's Jonathan Swain reports:
Patients with certain conditions face a 40 per cent greater chance of dying if they are unfortunate enough to be admitted to hospital at the weekend, research has found.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has launched its report outlining its commitment to delivering high quality care to patients seven days a week.
Click here to read the full report.