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NHS risks a new Mid-Staffs because of 'moral vacuum' in nursing - report

1 min read

The NHS risks a repeat of the Mid-Staffordshire hospital scandal due to a "moral vacuum" in the nursing profession, a damning new report has warned.

The study found many nurses acted like "robots", basing their actions on the rulebook rather than what they thought was the right thing to do.

“When you’ve been working for five years or more, usually you realise that following the rules is not the only important thing, you have to rely on your own moral compass," said Professor Kristjan Kristjansson, the report's author.

“Their only standard was what was written down in the codes. They are the only professionals where reliance on their own character compass does not pick up as they gain more experience. This fact probably says a lot about the current state of nursing.”

The University of Birmingham psychologist said patients “can tell if a nurse is just going through the motions.”

And he specifically warned of the clinical risks of a tick-box culture, saying: "There won’t be any whistleblowers, people will just turn into automatons, robots at work. The only thing that seems to wake politicians up is a new crisis, which is very sad.”

Janet Davies, the chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said the report "demonstrates the emotional pressure on caring professions who, when faced with an inability to work as they know they should, become compromised.”

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