RCN: ‘Enshrine patient right to compassionate care in NHS constitution’

Patients’ rights to dignified and compassionate care should be enshrined in an NHS constitution, the RCN has said.

The RCN said that dignity has suffered at the hands of poor quality accommodation, or targets which prioritise efficiency over quality care.

And its research found that four out of five nurses have left work ‘upset or distressed' because they had been unable to treat patients with the compassion they would like.

‘We know that nurses desperately want to give patients high quality dignified, compassionate care,' said Dr Peter Carter, the RCN's chief executive. ‘But sometimes there are too many obstacles in their way.'

The RCN is developing tools such as online training and an interactive DVD to help nurses influence policy and deliver more dignified care.

It's also urging NHS trusts to sign up to a set of ‘dignity principles', setting out the minimum standard of care patients can expect.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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