Health Secretary wants to cut nurses’ paperwork by third
Jeremy Hunt the Health Secretary, wants to cut the amount of paperwork doctors and nurses have to do by a third so they can spend hours more every week with patients.“Endless” box ticking and “burdensome regulation” mean nurses spend about a day a week on paperwork, Mr Hunt told a meeting organised by the think-tank Reform.
He has asked the NHS Confederation, which represents managers, to come up with a plan in the coming months to cut red tape.
His pledge has been welcomed by the Royal College of Nursing, which described the burden of paperwork as “excessive”.
Mr Hunt said that one of the primary lessons from the Francis report, into failings that led to hundreds of deaths at Stafford hospital, is that small things like ensuring a patient has enough water, matter more than targets.
As ministers make changes to ensure a repeat never happens, he claims “we must avoid thinking that care and compassion can be commanded from on high either by regulators or politicians”.
“Endless boxes to tick, cumbersome bureaucracy and burdensome regulations are the problem – they cannot be the solution,” he said.
Mr Hunt describes good healthcare as being “in the moment – the minute-by-minute interaction between a person in need and a person there to help”.
He continued “It is because people believe in the values of the NHS that they spend their working lives in it.
“So this is about unlocking those values that lie inside the outstanding doctors and nurses who deliver care week-in and week-out and stopping the dead hand of top-down targets crushing the goodness out of them.”
Among the cases that have come to Mt Hunt’s attention include a nurse who had to fill 10 forms – including one that was 22 pages long – to get a patient with a gunshot wound admitted to a trauma ward.
Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, welcomed the initiative.
He said: “Our members have been telling us for several years that they are forced to spend too much time filling in forms, ticking boxes and duplicating information.”
“While it is necessary to monitor care, record vital signs, and follow care plans, we are concerned that the burden is excessive and can be very poorly managed. In particular, the time spent filling in forms is time which could be spent with patients.”
“We urge all NHS organisations to focus on paperwork which serves the patient, and to ensure that there is enough support to allow nurses to focus on delivering care.”
One Comment so far:Posted by: Health Direct on February 14, 2013
Tags: Accident and Emergency, Conservatives, Health Professionals, NHS waste, Nurses, preventable crisis