Patients 'should be given more power'

Patients 'should be given more power'

In the wake of the Francis Report into the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust scandal, more power should be given to patient-led organisations.

That is the view of Peter Beresford, professor of social policy at Brunel University, who detailed this while writing for the Guardian yesterday (February 19th).

He claimed that allowing politicians and policymakers to implement the improvements and recommendations made in the report will allow the use of the "same hopeless management techniques" that allowed the issues to arise initially.

Professor Beresford stated he is concerned by suggestions healthcare staff could be prosecuted for not reporting instances of poor care. He insisted moves towards statutory obligations of candour and training in compassion demonstrate those responsible for bringing  about the changes do not understand "organisational cultures".

"It's not another tier of supermarket consumerism that the NHS needs, but openness and democratisation," he added.

According to Professor Beresford, "an effective voice" needs to be given to individual patients, representative groups and families.

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