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RCS responds to health commitments in 2010 Labour Party Manifesto

12 April 2010

Responding to today's manifesto pledges by the Labour Party John Black, President of the Royal College of Surgeons said:

“Today’s manifesto commitment by the Labour Party to give patients the right to choose care from any provider who meets NHS standards and costs must be matched by a commitment from those providers to make their clinical results public. Currently most private providers don’t do this in the same way that NHS hospitals have to and this means patients are denied making an informed choice.

"The plan to put matrons back in charge of ward cleanliness is welcome but we must remember that improving infection control will require more than cleaning. The number of patients though a ward per day is a major factor in spreading infection and is currently neglected. Bed occupancy rates are not currently monitored on a ward-by-ward basis to ensure they are kept below the safe maximum of 80 per cent and they should be.”