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Tough new rules aimed at transforming care standards

The Government is expected to place hands-on caring in hospital wards on a par with academic training. According to the Daily Mail a new Chief Inspector will also be recruited to check up on nursing standards, as well as:

  • Hospitals and GPs will be stopped from hiding any mistakes
  • Whistleblowers will be free to speak out with a ban on gagging clauses
  • People in care homes will be protected with an 'elderly care tsar'
  • Anyone caught fiddling figures could end up facing criminal charges

NHS nurses to spend a year on frontline care, says Hunt

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will today announce a more practical emphasis of policy for aspiring nurses.

"Frontline, hands-on caring experience and values need to be equal with academic training," Mr Hunt will say.

"These measures are about recruiting all staff with the right values and giving them the training they need to do their job properly, so that patients are treated with compassion."

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Jeremy Hunt to publish response to Francis report

Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Aspiring nurses will have to work for up to a year as a healthcare assistant or support worker before they can apply to become a nurse, Jeremy Hunt will announce later today.

The move will "give the public confidence" that people entering the profession can give compassionate care, the Health Secretary will say.

Hunt will also publish the government's response to the Francis report into serious failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust which highlighted "appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people" at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009.

Read more: Stafford Hospital report calls for 'zero tolerance' approach to poor care

Read more: Key recommendations of Francis report

Report: Nine out of ten want NHS boss to resign

The Daily Mail has reported that a web poll has found nine out of ten health professionals want Sir David Nicholson to resign as NHS chief executive.

According to the paper, nearly 2,000 nurses, managers and other senior NHS staff were spoken to, with more than 90 per cent of them saying he should step down.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Roy Liley, a health policy analyst said:

It is clear he no longer enjoys the support of front-line staff.

As stories of quality horrors, bullying and service dislocation emerge, it would seem time to recognise Sir David's huge contribution to the NHS in the past but make it clear he is not the man to take the NHS into the future.

Last night David Cameron defended Sir David, when he was questioned by reporters in India.

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Cameron defends NHS boss over Stafford hospital

David Cameron has defended NHS boss Sir David Nicholson over last week's findings by the Francis Report into failings of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust.

Relatives of those who died at the hospital have been placing pressure on the Prime Minister to sack Sir David, who was the head of the Trusts' Regional Health Authority at the time.

David Cameron on Sir David Nicholson: "I am impressed with the grip and grasp he has on the NHS" Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Speaking last night in India, Mr Cameron said Sir David was doing "a very good job".

"I would remind you of what the report says, that we should not be seeking scapegoats. I think to highlight David Nicholson in that way would be seeking a scapegoat."

Healthcare assistant 'dragged patient' at Stafford hospital

A healthcare assistant at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital has been found to have dragged an elderly dementia patient around by his pyjamas and to have called him an animal.

Bonka Kostova was found to have physically and verbally abused the 73-year-old patient including telling him "you are no longer a human being but an animal" - or words to that effect.

Kostova was suspended from working at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust pending today's tribunal at the Midwifery Council in central London.

Death rates at nine hospitals trusts to be investigated

Earlier this month Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh announced an investigation into hospitals mortality rates.

Sir Bruce had identified an initial list of five organisations that had been outliers for two years on the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI), today he has announced the final list to be investigated:

  • North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Northern Lincolnshireand Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Dudley Group NHS FT
  • Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS FT
  • Medway NHS FT
  • Burton Hospitals NHS FT

These hospitals are already working closely with a range of regulators. If there were concerns that services were unsafe the regulators should have intervened.

The purpose of my investigation is to assure patients, public and Parliament that these hospitals understand why they have a high mortality and have all the support they need to improve. This will be a thorough and rigorous process, involving patients, clinicians, regulators and local organisations.

– Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director
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