The spirit behind this powerful but simple initiative is very much echoed in the new inspection model rolled out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last year that focuses on the fundamental tenets of compassionate care looking at whether people are treated with dignity, respect and kindness. The CQC have also made it clear that they have a long term strategy to integrate human rights into the way they work. Malte Gerhold, Director of Policy and Strategy for CQC has stated that the CQC “…. has a crucial role in making sure care providers protect the human rights of people using their services. People who use services are at the heart of our new inspection model. As the quality regulator for health and adult social care, we have an important role to promote equality, diversity and human rights as part of services that are safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive to people’s needs. This is why CQC has developed a human rights approach for its new model of regulating quality in health and social care.".”
An interesting and perhaps difficult issue to resolve is why do we need such a reminder from Dr Granger when healthcare professionals are educated, articulate people who have chosen to enter a vocational profession. We teach small children basic common courtesies like the importance of introducing yourself, saying please/thank you and offering an apology when you do something wrong or cause upset to another. What is it about working on the front line of the NHS that means such values have become lost to the extent we need to introduce a duty of candour or specific campaigns? The horrifying events at Winterbourne view and Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust scarred the public conscience prompting politicians to vow that such events could never be allowed to happen again. However when you see credible well run foundation trusts rejecting the tariffs devised by Monitor (for the cost of care) as being 'untenable' you can see why cutting the staffing budget becomes more attractive for panicked financial directors looking to find some sort of balance between the competing regulatory requirements. A sad theme that came out of the evidence of many Mid Staffs nurses in the Francis Inquiry was that the service was so overstretched, a culture devoid of care and compassion became the norm, as people were pushed to breaking point due to understaffing and a desire to achieve targets. This should not be forgotten by government, regulators and executive management teams who are looking to address the NHS's financial deficit and long term survival.