Hospitals: Staff

Health written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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Photo of David Crausby David Crausby Labour, Bolton North East

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 6 November 2013, Official Report, column 245W, on hospitals: staff, what his policy is on cases where hospitals operate below the locally agreed minimum safe staffing level.

Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Government's response to the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry, “Hard Truths: The Journey to Putting Patients First”, set out the expectation that from April 2014, and by June 2014 at the latest, national health service trusts will publish ward-level information on whether they are meeting their staffing requirements and every six months trust boards will be required to undertake a detailed review of staffing using evidence based tools.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), through its Chief Inspector of Hospitals, will monitor this performance and take action where non-compliance puts patients at risk of harm, and appropriate staffing levels will be a core element of the CQC's registration regime.

Following the Francis Inquiry, the CQC introduced radical changes to hospital inspections, with a new chief inspector, Sir Mike Richards, leading significantly bigger inspection teams which are headed up by clinical and other experts. The new chief inspector will make authoritative judgments about the quality of care and recommend that action is taken when he identifies failing providers.

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