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Top nurse 'appalled' by scandal
The country's top nurse has said colleagues who fail to demonstrate "compassion and empathy" to patients have no place in the NHS, following a damning report into failings of care at Stafford Hospital.
Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England, said she was "shocked and appalled" at the behaviour of some members of her profession after the findings of a public inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust were published.
Robert Francis QC, who led the inquiry, uncovered a "disaster" in the standards of basic care and medical treatment for some of the most vulnerable and elderly patients.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Ms Cummings said: "As a nurse of 30 years, I was shocked and appalled that members of our profession let patients down in this way, and betrayed the trust that they and their families had put in nurses and care staff, when they most needed help.
"People in Stafford are rightly upset and angry, and the report sets out some examples that are very hard to read. I would never want a member of my family to suffer the indignity, pain and fear that some patients at Stafford endured."
Ms Cummings said that while there were many "excellent and committed" nurses working in the NHS, the evidence from Stafford hospital was "damning".
She continued: "The reality is that there are some nurses who do not have the capacity to be compassionate and truly care, despite training and support. They have no place in the NHS. We only want nurses who come to work to make a difference for their patients and are prepared to take personal responsibility for individuals in their care."
Ms Cummings said she would work with NHS medical director Professor Bruce Keogh as he investigates the trusts with mortality rates higher than average.
In his inquiry into the trust, Mr Francis uncovered failings at every level of the NHS and said the culture among healthcare staff must change. He said: "This is about how people behave when they go to work and their ability to raise concerns and be honest about what's going on in their hospitals."
Professor Keogh has now launched a review into Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.