New guidance to improve care for vulnerable patients

The Department of Health has launched four new sets of guidance to improve the care of vulnerable people in NHS funded care. The documents remind staff and managers across the health service of the importance of personalised care and dignity and offers practical advice on how to deliver this.

Recent reports such as the Health Ombudsman’s Care and Compassion report have highlighted shocking examples of failings in NHS and care services. While the vast majority of patients receive a high standard of care, no failings are acceptable. That is why the Department has been working with stakeholders including the Care Quality Commission, ADASS and Royal Colleges of Nurses and GPs as well as frontline staff to develop practical guidance for staff across the NHS.

The documents launched include:

By developing specific guidance for NHS staff, managers and commissioners the Department is sending a clear signal that safeguarding should be a priority for everyone in the NHS.

Practical help given in the guides includes:

  • A step by step advice for staff on how to investigate suspected neglect
  • Six fundamental safeguarding actions for managers to take and a list of questions they should ask themselves to ensure they are meeting their responsibilities
  • Advice for commissioners on how they can build safeguarding into commissioning and make this part of their joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy