NHS patient safety pledges

Jeremy Hunt has NHS staff could face a new criminal offence of wilful neglect of patients as one of a series of measures adopted by the Health Secretary from the Francis report into the deaths at Stafford Hospital.

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Nursing chief: Evidence should 'determine' staff levels

Chief Nursing Officer Jane Cummings

From next April, each hospital trust will have to publish staffing levels on a ward-by-ward basis, in a bid to prevent another care crisis similar to the one at Stafford Hospital.

Chief Nursing Officer Jane Cummings told ITV Daybreak: "The most important thing to do is to use evidence to determine what the staffing levels should be.

"It's actually quite dangerous to to suggest that there must be a particular minimum and what we really need to do is to look at the needs of the patients on a particular ward or service and that will vary.

"We need to use that evidence and professional judgment of experienced senior nurses to make those decisions locally and then having done that to publish it".

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