UK's chief nurse praises standards at city's hospital
THE country's top nurse praised Derby's NHS staff for their "passion for caring" during a visit to the hospital.
Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England, was yesterday given a tour of Royal Derby Hospital alongside Prime Minister David Cameron.
The pair were there to look at how Derby nursing staff have incorporated a government initiative to ask outpatients if they would recommend the hospital to friends and family.
The Friends and Family Test will be introduced into every hospital in England from April 2013 but Royal Derby Hospital has been using the initiative since April.
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It is a series of questions asked of 10% of patients as they leave the hospital, about their experience, the care they received and whether they would recommend the hospital to loved ones.
During her visit, Mrs Cummings said: "Derby's hospitals have this good reputation for the quality of care they provide and the nurses they have here.
"The leadership in particular is very good, the chief executive and chief nurses are excellent. The nurses are very passionate about the care they give here."
Earlier in the morning, Mr Cameron had been shown around a ward, meeting patients and talking about the new scheme. He said that while some places, like Derby, had been using the scheme for some time, from April it would be introduced in all hospitals.
He added: "I want the NHS to go further, with GP surgeries, district nursing and community hospitals using the test to improve the care they provide.
"The test is a simple measure but crucially will show whether there is a basic standard of dignity, cleanliness and respect."
Joining the hospital tour were members of a voluntary group called Caremakers – ambassadors who talk to newly graduated or trainee nurses about patient care.
Mrs Cummings said there were about 50 Caremakers already working nationwide, with plans to recruit more in Derby.
She said: "The idea is that they themselves work in hospitals but basically spread the principles of care to trainee nurses and more experienced staff. They will do this by going into universities, talking to students, giving presentations and providing training."