NHS cuts put patient safety at risk
Health regulator, Monitor, warns that current NHS plans are unaffordable, and urges NHS Trusts to review their spending. The regulator recommends that all healthcare providers should re-evaluate their plans to make money go as far as possible. Penalties for not meeting some waiting time targets will be lifted, and Trusts are urged to freeze non-essential recruitment in order to cut spending.
However, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is concerned that patient safety will be put at risk if safe staffing levels are compromised. They warn that patient care will suffer if safe staffing levels are determined by accountants on the basis of finances, rather than by clinical staff on the basis of patient need. The RCN describes the recommended recruitment freeze as a ‘false economy’, as the workload of these “non-essential” positions would not disappear but would merely be transferred to frontline staff.
Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association said today:
“This latest directive from Monitor is particularly worrying, because it confirms that the financial pressures on the NHS have increased and might be in danger of running out of control unless trusts take action as recommended by the regulators. A cutback on so-called non-essential staff will simply increase the pressures on all other staff to an untenable level and have a knock-on impact on lengthening waiting times for patients.”
The Law Commission Consultation: Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty
The Law Commission’s consultation paper, Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty has been published. The consultation paper reviews the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (the DoLS) in England and Wales. The goal is to replace the DoLS with a straightforward and accessible legal framework which provides appropriate safeguards for people who lack capacity whose care or treatment is becoming restrictive. This consultation paper is over 251 pages with 42 questions. The Patients Association is concerned that this consultation document has the potential to be ignored due to the size of the document and number of questions. However, if you wish to respond to specific questions the Patients Association will be happy to take your views. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 30th October 2015.