Named doctor for hospital patients
Hospital patients will have the names of a doctor and nurse displayed above their beds to make it clear who is responsible for their care, the health secretary announced today.
Jeremy Hunt said the move would help rebuild trust in the health service and allay fears that patients may be "passed from pillar to post" between different departments without knowing who is looking after them.
Underpinning the idea is a desire for greater accountability to give patients a "guarantee of compassionate care", he added.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Mr Hunt said the Government was introducing a raft of measures to improve patient care and tackle concerns, many of which were highlighted in the Francis inquiry following the scandal at Mid Staffs.
Among the changes is a scheme to stop failed managers from moving from post to post and taking different jobs in the NHS.
There will also be a new law that will make wilful neglect of patients a crime, Mr Hunt said.
More senior doctors will also work at weekends, and X-ray, ultrasound, CT and MRI departments will be kept open.
Mr Hunt said: "A human touch can make all the difference. A name you know and a face you trust to guide you throughout your stay can transform your experience.
"That's why we are committing to put the names of a responsible nurse and responsible doctor above every hospital bed.
"Robert Francis, who led the inquiry into Mid Staffs, said this was an important change which would help make sure such events never happened again...
"This year, we will ask every hospital to make it happen."
The move, which has already started at a number of hospitals, will give patients the assurance of "one face and one name who champions their needs as long as they're in hospital", Mr Hunt said, meaning "the buck stops with someone for every patient in every part of the NHS for every hour of the day".
Outside of hospital care, GPs will also provide more personal care for elderly patients, Mr Hunt said.