New data puts NHS care in spotlight

Hundreds of thousands of patients will be able to see how well their local hospital cares for patients in a new initiative aimed to shine the spotlight on care in the health service.

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Data on safety, effectiveness and experience is to be published so patients in the north of England can tell how well their hospital is performing

Hundreds of thousands of patients will be able to see how well their local hospital cares for patients in a new initiative aimed to shine the spotlight on care in the health service.

Data on safety, effectiveness and experience is to be published so patients in the north of England can tell how well their hospital is performing on a number of key measures.

They will be able to see the number of patients that develop bed sores while in hospital, the number of falls recorded as well as hospital infection rates.

The data, which will be displayed on each Trust's website, will be pulled together alongside patient stories as well as figures from the NHS "safety thermometer" and Friends and Family Test scores.

While the pilot scheme will only be available for patients at 20 NHS trusts in the north of England , the aim is to expand the initiative to the rest of the country and other care sectors, an NHS England spokesman said.

The Chief Nursing Officer for England says that "absolute transparency" was key for driving up standards in care.

Addressing the delegates of the annual Chief Nursing Officer's Summit in Birmingham, Jane Cummings will say: " Failings such as those at Mid Staffordshire and Winterbourne View threatened patient confidence and challenged us all as professionals.

"The response to these failings has been the focus of the health system over the last year with the overriding question being - what do we need to do to ensure this is never repeated?

"Never before has change been more important. Absolute transparency is the key to driving improvements in stand ards of care and we need to ensure that every single patient receives great care, every tim e.

"Today trusts in the North of England will publish safety, effectiveness and experience data; with the overall aim of driving improvements in practice and culture.

"This includes reporting on patients who develop pressure ulcers and patients that fall while in hospital. This will be combined with the results from the Friends and Family Test, the NHS safety thermometer, patient and staff experience surveys and patients stories, all in one place, to not only build up a picture of care quality but also of an excellent and open reporting culture.

"This is a great example of the kind of transparency I am talking about.

"Nurses, midwives and care staff have a personal and professional responsibility but there needs to be a continued strengthening of leadership from board to ward. We need a culture of support, of openness and transparency where staff feel free to speak out, to challenge incidents of poor care and take immediate action to put things right."