This week it has emerged that thousands of deaths in the NHS may have been prevented if only people had taken notice of the figures on mortality rates in various failing hospitals, Mid Staffs being just one of them. The most shocking part of this piece of news on the BBC Website is that people in powerful enough positions to do something about it actually knew about it!
This week I will be attending the RCN (Royal College of Nursing) Research Conference in the beautiful city of Belfast and I am optimistically hoping that the people and research that meets there will be able to make some difference to the NHS. The research should help us to provide better care and prevent bad practice but that is only if people use it and if mangers encourage staff to develop new ways of working that is evidence (research) based.
My optimism is very fragile however as I also remember attending an RCN congress event about a decade ago where the then Health Minister stood up and told us that there were too many staff in the Mid Staffordshire NHS trust and that there would have to be an immediate cull in order to balance the books. Strange how budgets can get so easily in the way of evidence based practice but then, maybe not.