The Francis Report: Guidance for Taking Responsibility

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In the late 2000s the healthcare commission began an investigation into the Mid Staffordshire Hospital, England. Concerns come to light because of the hospitals unusually high mortality rates. When the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust failed to provide an adequate explanation, the Healthcare Commission began a full-scale investigation. Years of unsatisfactory investigation eventually led to a full public inquiry, led by Robert Francis in 2010.

The final report, published in 2013, is what has come to be known as The Francis Report. The Francis Report has become a driving force to promote change, lead, shape, fund and improve all aspects of health care, and make sure that people receive the support, care and treatment they require, with the compassion, respect and dignity that they deserve.

The result of the Francis Report means that the NHS is at a turning point in how all Health Care is delivered, as suggested by NHS employers “28 of Robert Francis' QC's recommendations are for changes to nursing regulation or delivery”.

Not only does The Francis Report call for more compassionate care, but it also states that stronger leadership is required of all ward nurse managers. It also insists on a change with regards to the appraisal and support system for nurses. This appraisal system is a means of assessing the performance of nurses so that any shortcomings can be corrected through methods such as training and transfer. On the other hand, a positive assessment is to be rewarded by promotion.

Due to an ageing population , The Francis Report recommends the introduction of a new status of nurse, the “registered older persons nurse”. One of the illnesses linked in with this is dementia, and multiple factors relating to dementia are having an impact on how nurses are trained and their deliverance of services. In 2013, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) began a new development program to transform dementia care for hospitals. There aim is to develop skills and knowledge related to dementia, the roles of all those who are involved, understanding the development of action plans that identify key changes.

Another focus for change is that over the years the demand for home and community care over hospital care has continued to grow, as stated by the Queens nursing institute “Recent health policy points to the importance of improving and extending services to meet the health and care needs of an increasingly older population and provide services which may have previously been provided in hospital within community settings”.
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