Royal College of Nursing responds to new report from HSIB

Press Release 23/05/2019

Responding to today’s report from the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, Recognising and responding to critically unwell patients, Suman Shrestha, professional lead for acute emergency and critical care at the RCN said:

“The report rightly recommends that NEWS2 is rolled out across all acute trusts and ambulance services and that the NHS England Cross-System Sepsis Board engages more widely with relevant stakeholders including the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine.

“The absence of sufficient staff numbers and the right skills mix is inevitably a contributing factor in failures to recognise and treat deteriorating patients.  We need greater accountability for delivering this at the highest levels.  In all cases, there needs to be safety net for patients upon discharge from hospital; they should receive information on who to contact and seek advice from at an early stage to prevent deterioration and to avoid unnecessary pressures on emergency services.”

Regarding the specific case discussed in the report, Suman Shrestha said:

“We have seen no evidence that the four-hour target has been a contributing factor; we continue to engage with NHS England regarding the efficacy of this target and potential alternatives to ensure patients are treated quickly and safely.”


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