Can research save the NHS ?

This week it has emerged that thousands of deaths in the NHS may have been prevented if only people had taken notice of the figures on mortality rates in various failing hospitals, Mid Staffs being just one of them. The most shocking part of this piece of news on the BBC  Website is that people in powerful enough positions to do something about it actually knew about it!

This week I will be attending the RCN  (Royal College of Nursing) Research Conference in the beautiful city of Belfast and I am optimistically hoping that the people and research that meets there will be able to make some difference to the NHS. The research should help us to provide better care and prevent bad practice but that is only if people use it and if mangers encourage staff to develop new ways of working that is evidence  (research) based.

My optimism is very fragile however as I also remember attending an RCN congress event about a decade ago where the then Health Minister stood up and told us that there were too many staff in the Mid Staffordshire NHS trust and that there would have to be an immediate cull in order to balance the books.  Strange how  budgets can get so easily in the way of evidence based practice but then, maybe not.

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3 Comments to “Can research save the NHS ?”

  1. Hello,
    We as a society have not learned the lessons of history remember Harold Shipman he was allowed to consultant as a Doctor with no one questioning his Death rate which was very abnormal.
    It seems in the present Society obsessed with the speed of communications we take our eye off the important indicators of Life and Death.
    David.

  2. An efficient complaints system where someone in each hospital was responsible for giving a complete answer to each complaint within a week and record it in a book would stop the excesses and unecessary deaths.
    Hotel chains ask for feedback from guests,and I as owner of language teaching organisations always ask my staff “any complaints from students today?” because I know that the way to improve any business is to study complaints from clients and improve the business to try and ensure that those complaints do not happen again.
    Relatives in hospitals should be invited to comment after visits and so should patients if and when they depart.The person responsible for addressing complaints in hospital should be instantly sacked if complaints are ignored.
    I am sure that relatives of those patients lying in excrement and drinking water from flower vases would have complained if anyone had been officially mandated to listen to them so that the worst excesses in Stafford and elsewhere would be eliminated.

  3. Good point and and such an easy thing to Implement yo have to wonder why no one has thought of it before?

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