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The Francis Report: one year on, comment from The Point of Care Foundation

06 February 2014

Jocelyn Cornwell, Director of The Point of Care Foundation, commenting on the publication of the Nuffield Trust’s report The Francis Report: one year on said:

“The Francis Inquiry has made a difference and inspired positive change in the NHS. This is shown both by the research published today and by anecdotal evidence circulating throughout the NHS.

“True culture change takes time and is not easy. But national organisations, including the Department of Health, NHS England, CQC and Monitor, are making the job more difficult by placing increasing demands on the NHS.

“Culture change has to be led from the top – with new values and behaviours clearly demonstrated – and it has to be system wide. So much of the focus has been on hospital trusts, but national bodies, community, mental health and social care organisations are all equally important in establishing an NHS that puts patients at the heart of the system.

“Since the Francis Inquiry, senior managers have become more focussed on the quality of care, and are listening more intently to feedback from both patients and staff about how services are delivered.

“But the Nuffield report highlights that these same senior managers face a difficult balancing act between tightening finances and improving quality of care. They are not always sure what steps to take to improve the culture within their organisation in order to make it more focussed on the needs and wants of the patient. Our research shows that supporting staff, both at a strategic level and through operational initiatives like Schwartz Rounds, can have a real and direct impact on improving the quality of care.”

Notes to editors

Schwartz Center Rounds® (or ‘Schwartz Rounds’) are a practical tool that health and care providers can use to improve the culture of their organisation and support staff through the use of reflective practice. Originally developed by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare in Boston USA, Rounds have been implemented in more than 320 organisations in that country and over 30 organisations in the UK. The Point of Care Foundation is the sole licensed provider of training and support to organisations wishing to run Schwartz Rounds in England.

Schwartz Rounds were mentioned by Robert Francis QC in The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry (2013) as an example of a way in which teams can be brought together to recognise that they are part of one team working for the benefit of the patient.

The Point of Care Foundation was established in April 2013 as an independent charity working to improve patients’ experience of care and increase support for the staff who work with them. It grew out of the work of the Point of Care programme at The King’s Fund (2007-2013), which was led by the Foundation’s Director Jocelyn Cornwell.

For further information contact 0203 841 5570