New Standards Will Improve Patient Care

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Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey, today launched a new set of standards aimed at improving patient care.

The five standards relating to respect, attitude, behaviour, communication, privacy and dignity set out what the public should expect from staff in the health service. They are contained in a new report entitled, 'Improving the Patient and Client Experience', which has been developed by Northern Ireland's Chief Nursing Officer, Martin Bradley in collaboration with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council (NIPEC).

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Speaking at the Chief Nursing Officer's Annual Conference in Belfast, the Minister said: "I believe that the people of Northern Ireland are entitled to receive the highest quality of health and social care. They want to be able to access services easily, when they need them and to receive a high standard of service regardless of where they live. They also want to receive care and treatment from staff, whether clinical or non-clinical, who carry out their job in a considerate, caring and professional manner.

"Earlier this year I pledged my support for the RCN's Dignity in Care campaign and asked the Chief Nursing Officer to work with the RCN and NIPEC on developing a set of standards and statements, which would underpin our commitment to improving the experience of those patients and clients who use our services. I am pleased to be here today to launch these new standards of care which relate to respect, attitude, behaviour, communication, and privacy and dignity.

These standards clearly state what people can expect from the health and social care services. They will provide the cornerstone of the care we provide and should be integrated into all that we do."

The Minister went on emphasise the important role that nurses have in ensuring that the new standards are achieved: "Nurses have always been central to the delivery of high quality care. I want nurses, both at the bedside and in the board room, to be champions for good quality care, and I want leaders of health and social care organisations to demonstrate those same behaviours which are consistent with high standards of care and compassion."

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