Staff are being asked to undertake complex procedures for which they have not been trained, potentially compromising patient safety.
Unnecessary errors have been highlighted and include some cases where medication has been prescribed to the wrong person. This however has already been highlighted by the NHS as a Never Event within its 2013 criteria, almost 18 months ago.
The NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) have provided guidance on what tasks and supervision should be provided by healthcare staff, but the BBC investigation highlights the ongoing resource issues within the NHS, and the possible complications that may arise, and could be avoided.
The RCN (Royal College of Nurses) in the East believe that this situation is predominantly due to a lack of trained nurses, placing health care assistants in dangerous situations, as well as patients.
The Cavendish Review of 2013, stemming from the Francis Inquiry surrounding the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust systemic failures, highlighted that training for health assistants was "neither sufficiently consistent, nor sufficiently supervised" and it appears that the BBC investigation echoes such ongoing concerns.
To improve patient safety and reduce risk, lessons have to be learnt from all such investigations, although it appears that this has yet to be fully embraced, based on the BBC findings.
We are acting for many individuals who have suffered substandard clinical care and are calling for the NHS to demonstrate clearly and effectively how patient safety is improving given the repeated issues that are arising.
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