Headlines: August 1st, 2002

A panel of nurses, doctors and other frontline NHS workers have helped civil servants identify 40 areas of unnecessary bureaucracy.The Cabinet Office Regulatory Impact Unit (RIU), working with the Department of Heath, have consulted with nearly 250 health service professionals before producing ‘Making a Difference: Reducing Burdens in Hospitals’.

This sharp end approach has identified a range of improvements which would free up staff time to focus on patient care and hospital standards.

These include:

– reducing the time taken for nurse re-registration

– quicker process to enable nurses to administer intravenous (IV) therapy and request medical tests and investigations

– better support for locally integrated approaches to patient discharge arrangements.

Some of the items covered in the report include practical measures borne out of suggestions from staff, such as the ward sister from the South East with 15 years experience who explained how she could save four to five hours per week if medical notes were better organised and indexed as a matter of course.

Copies of the report can be downloaded from the Cabinet Office website at: www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/regulation/PublicSector/reports.htm