Leading Worcestershire health figure Dr Richard Taylor reacts to report into Stafford Hospital scandal

Worcester News: Report calls for return of old-fashioned matrons Report calls for return of old-fashioned matrons

SENIOR nurses need to become more like ‘formidable’ old-style matrons to prevent a repeat of the ‘appalling’ care suffered by patients at a neighbouring hospital says a county health expert.

Retired county hospital physician and former Wyre Forest MP Dr Richard Taylor has welcomed a "zero tolerance" approach to poor care after "appalling" failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust which runs Stafford Hospital.

Yesterday the chairman of the £13 million inquiry Robert Francis QC published his final report.

In it he made 290 sweeping recommendations for healthcare regulators, providers and the Government, including that hospitals which failed to comply with a "fundamental standard" should be forced to close. Healthcare providers should also be liable for prosecution if they fail to comply with standards. David Cameron has also announced the creation of a new post – Chief Inspector of Hospitals. There will be a statutory obligation on doctors and nurses for a duty of candour so they are open about mistakes.

Dr Taylor believes the whole NHS complaints process is ‘useless’ and needs to be reformed. He welcomed the extra support for whistle-blowers, the subject of a private members bill he tried to bring through Parliament as an MP. Dr Taylor also welcomed focus on nursing leadership and said Tony Blair did ‘tremendous harm’ by abolishing the old style ‘proper’ matrons who provided ‘a very formidable presence’ and ‘kept staff on their toes’.

Worcester MP Robin Walker said MPs needed to play a greater role in flagging up problems.

“No-one should ever have to fear going to hospital,” he said. “Clearly Stafford was an exceptional case and the fundamental thing it shows is that patient care must be the focus. Thankfully in Worcestershire the vast majority of people going to hospital come out with a positive view.”

A spokesman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said leaders wound now consider the recommendations with patients and staff.

  • Below, Mike Farrar, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, tells BBC4 Today presenter John Humphrys that he feels "saddened and ashamed" that the NHS has let down people who alleged to have been mistreated at the Mid Staffordshire hospital.

Comments (7)

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6:48pm Wed 6 Feb 13

CJH says...

The last thing you want if you're in hospital is for staff to be 'formidable'. You want them to be professional and focussed on patient care as a priority. Senior nursing staff (ie matrons if that's we must call them - but what if they are a male nurse?) should be allowed to manage their staff and ignore the bean-counting jobsworths who never go anywhere near a patient. No pun intended, but nursing should be a bottom up process, not decisions made at the top (off the wards) and then think about how they are implemented afterwards.
The last thing you want if you're in hospital is for staff to be 'formidable'. You want them to be professional and focussed on patient care as a priority. Senior nursing staff (ie matrons if that's we must call them - but what if they are a male nurse?) should be allowed to manage their staff and ignore the bean-counting jobsworths who never go anywhere near a patient. No pun intended, but nursing should be a bottom up process, not decisions made at the top (off the wards) and then think about how they are implemented afterwards. CJH

6:49pm Wed 6 Feb 13

induby says...

I couldnt agree more with going back to the times of the"matron", and how wards were run, I remember hospitals being immaculate, strictly run and organised, it should have never of changed!, no one is held accountable for anything now, no one has to answer to anyone, and their work is no longer checked,or followed up. people starved to death, died of dehydration in Stafford hospital and no one knows why or has been held accountable, how can that be?
I couldnt agree more with going back to the times of the"matron", and how wards were run, I remember hospitals being immaculate, strictly run and organised, it should have never of changed!, no one is held accountable for anything now, no one has to answer to anyone, and their work is no longer checked,or followed up. people starved to death, died of dehydration in Stafford hospital and no one knows why or has been held accountable, how can that be? induby

8:21pm Wed 6 Feb 13

grumpy woman says...

Compassion and care within an organised team is what is required of hospital staff. You enter hospital at a low point in your life and need help. Staff need to put themselves in your place and act accordingly.
Compassion and care within an organised team is what is required of hospital staff. You enter hospital at a low point in your life and need help. Staff need to put themselves in your place and act accordingly. grumpy woman

7:01am Thu 7 Feb 13

TmP says...

Yes Matrons are the answer although they are already WRH they do appear to be bogged down with paper work and rarely seen monitoring the wards. It is the old type of Matrons needed the present ones are I feel a WRH Trusts token gesture to the system.
Too much ruling from "the top" and less decisions on the job front is a problem, everything up the hill depends upon costs. People leaving are not replaced immediately if at all which leaves the wards short however saves the Trust a few months pay to help balance the books. And yes I was one of those old fashioned nurses for whom nursing was a vocation which sadly it does not appear to be at the moment.
Yes Matrons are the answer although they are already WRH they do appear to be bogged down with paper work and rarely seen monitoring the wards. It is the old type of Matrons needed the present ones are I feel a WRH Trusts token gesture to the system. Too much ruling from "the top" and less decisions on the job front is a problem, everything up the hill depends upon costs. People leaving are not replaced immediately if at all which leaves the wards short however saves the Trust a few months pay to help balance the books. And yes I was one of those old fashioned nurses for whom nursing was a vocation which sadly it does not appear to be at the moment. TmP

8:47am Thu 7 Feb 13

broadwas says...

My wife trained as a nurse at St Thomas's in London. Matron's round was at least once a day and always at different times. She had a notepad and a damp cloth to wipe surfaces for dirt. Ward sisters were equally fierce with the staff but kind and attentive to the patients.

Once my wife had
burnt the toast (yes they made breakfast for the patients in those days). She heard a call from Sister: "Don't scrape the toast, nurse. You wouldn't like it and NEITHER DO MY PATIENTS!!"

The shameless coward now running the NHS and once the head of the Mid Staffs disgrace should RESIGN with immediate effect.
My wife trained as a nurse at St Thomas's in London. Matron's round was at least once a day and always at different times. She had a notepad and a damp cloth to wipe surfaces for dirt. Ward sisters were equally fierce with the staff but kind and attentive to the patients. Once my wife had burnt the toast (yes they made breakfast for the patients in those days). She heard a call from Sister: "Don't scrape the toast, nurse. You wouldn't like it and NEITHER DO MY PATIENTS!!" The shameless coward now running the NHS and once the head of the Mid Staffs disgrace should RESIGN with immediate effect. broadwas

10:00am Thu 7 Feb 13

Arthur Blenkinsop says...

It is not just in Stafford, and this shameful situation has been getting worse for the last 15 or so, maybe longer, years, ever since 'managers' were deemed to be more important than the nursing staff.
It is not just in Stafford, and this shameful situation has been getting worse for the last 15 or so, maybe longer, years, ever since 'managers' were deemed to be more important than the nursing staff. Arthur Blenkinsop

10:04am Thu 7 Feb 13

broadwas says...

Arthur Blenkinsop wrote:
It is not just in Stafford, and this shameful situation has been getting worse for the last 15 or so, maybe longer, years, ever since 'managers' were deemed to be more important than the nursing staff.
Hear, hear Arthur
[quote][p][bold]Arthur Blenkinsop[/bold] wrote: It is not just in Stafford, and this shameful situation has been getting worse for the last 15 or so, maybe longer, years, ever since 'managers' were deemed to be more important than the nursing staff.[/p][/quote]Hear, hear Arthur broadwas

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