Two of the amendments, tabled and introduced in the House by
Baroness Royall, sought to ensure patients have guaranteed access
to clinical specialist
nurses. Several other Peers spoke in support of specialist
nurses in the debate. You can read the full text of Baroness
We are pleased that Earl Howe, the Health Quality Minister,
acknowledged the important contribution that specialist nurses make
to patient care in his response.
The Charity's third amendment asked the Government to commit to
developing quality standards
within six months of the Health Bill becoming law. Quality
standards are important guidelines that set out what quality care
should look like and help commissioners check that they are
organising the services that people want and need.
We were disappointed that Earl Howe stated that it would take
five years to develop the full set of quality standards. We feel
that this is too long to wait. We know from prostate cancer
guidelines, that when national guidelines are delayed, it has an
impact on the quality of care people receive. We do not want this
Over the coming week we will be looking at this issue in detail
to consider how we can further highlight the importance of having
these national standards, especially as more decisions about
healthcare will be made locally.
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