Three years ago NHS Services for Older People were in the depths of despair in the aftermath of the 1200 deaths that were identified at Mid Stafford General Hospital. This subsequently became the subject of the Francis Report, which made 290 recommendations of how elderly health care in the NHS should improve. (You can see my comments on this by clicking on “THE FRANCIS REPORT” in the TAG CLOUD).
I forecast at the time that the report had too detailed a focus and lacked an overall vision. At the same time, the huge number of recommendations were so diverse as to be almost impossible to implement and there would be no way to hold people to account. Sure enough there seems to have been little obvious change in the following years as evidenced by the Care Quality Commission’s frequent assessments of hospital care as inadequate or in need of improvement.
The latest Twitter gimmick that the NHS has come up with to improve things is the recruitment of Henrietta Hughes, who is a GP, who has been appointed to the role of NHS National Guardian. This is not a new newspaper editor, nor is it the establishment of some health and safety security service for hospital wards. Believe it or not, her role in her own words “is to promote happiness throughout the NHS”. What’s more she will have an army of local guardians in every hospital to spread love and happiness everywhere.
I hope they are not armed with bullet-proof vests, dark glasses and AK47’s otherwise their mission might be misunderstood. They might be more successful if they wore tie-died shirts, had flowers in their hair and gave out whacky backy.
This is a direct response to the recommendations in the Francis Report and it will, no doubt, be just as effective.