Advising with empathy and experience

Responsibility for care.



The head of the inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire scandal has suggested that every patient should have a single doctor who is in overall charge of the patient’s care.He said in his experience no one ever knows who their doctor is when in hospital and went on to say he thought it essential that patients know who has responsibility for their care.

Robert Francis QC, while speaking at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare in London outlined how this approach would help to care for those with complex needs, in particular the elderly, by making doctors and nurses take direct responsibility for their patients and not simply “tolerate poor care”.

Francis went on to criticise that the NHS has a tendency to “wait for someone else to tell it what to do” and accused management of not being proactive enough in making changes.

When the government initially responded to the Mid Staffordshire report Mr Francis reacted positively. However he has now admitted to being worried about the speed of progress and said that there is much that NHS bosses could be doing without waiting for official guidance.

“A lot of this can be done now and without government intervention. I think the health service needs to get away from a culture of waiting to be told what to do.”

When asked if he felt his recommendations contained in the Mid Staffordshire were being adequately implemented he said “At the moment it is too early to say, but the longer it goes on without action the more worried I will get.”