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RCS comment on Secretary of State's treating patients as people speech

23 Jan 2014

Commenting on the Secretary of State’s 'treating patients as people' speech, Professor Norman Williams, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said:

‘The progressive fragmentation of care that we have seen in the NHS is not only confusing and damaging for patients but also undermines the professionalism of medical teams.

I welcome the Secretary of State’s determination to bring back a more streamlined and compassionate approach to care. The taskforce I am currently chairing on the implementation of the European Working Time Directive is looking at continuity of care and the need for it to be given a much greater focus within the NHS.

We have to end the situation where patients are shuttled from one member of staff to another with no one individual taking responsibility for ensuring they receive the right treatment at the right time and in the right place. Having one named consultant in charge across a hospital stay will help bring about an important cultural change and reassure patients that they are not lost in the system, with no-one overseeing the totality of their care.’

Notes to editors

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