HSMC Senior Fellow, Yvonne Sawbridge and Alistair Hewison, Senior Lecturer from the School of Health and Population Sciences at the University of Birmingham, are the co-writers of an article appearing in the Nursing Standard this month 'Taking Action on Poor Practice'.

There have been a series of high profile scandals over the past few years relating to the quality of nursing care. These failures illustrate longstanding issues which can be traced back to the 1960s. Previous solutions do not seem to have succeeded. We cannot go on trying the same things. We need to be able to respond positively to CQC 'Nutrition and Older People' report and the numerous poor stories emerging via the Patient Association and others.

The public enquiry into Mid Staffs will make detailed recommendations relating to the system. However, history would show that general solutions to these problems are harder to embed. So what can be done? The HSMC Policy Paper - 'Time to Care?' December 2011 - identified that nursing is hard, emotional work. However, this is rarely discussed and often overlooked in current management practice. Consequently, there is no systematic support for nurses as part of their daily routine.

Perhaps it's time to move away from blaming individual nurses and look at how to develop systems which support them to care?

Read the full article: Taking Action on Poor Practice, Nursing Standard, March 2012 (PDF)

'Time to care' exploring solutions to poor nursing care - 11 June 2012