At yesterday’s Health Questions, I asked about the Francis Inquiry’s recommendations with regards to minimum staffing levels.
Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): Why do the Government continue to set their face against the essential recommendation of the Francis inquiry on minimum staffing levels?
Dr Poulter: The simple reason, as the right hon. Gentleman will be aware from his time at the Department of Health, is that ticking boxes on minimum staffing levels does not equate to good care. It can sometimes lead to a drive to the bottom, rather than to addressing the needs of the patients whom the front-line staff are looking after. The Berwick review has borne that out clearly. It is important to consider the patients and the skills mix on the ward, and to ensure that we get things right on the day for the individual needs of the patients.