Recommendation 199

Named nurses for patients

Accepted
Each patient should be allocated for each shift a named key nurse responsible for coordinating the provision of the care needs for each allocated patient. The named key nurse on duty should, whenever possible, be present at every interaction between a doctor and an allocated patient.

The Secretary of State for Health announced his support for patients having a named nurse in July 2013 and we are working with NHS England to support the delivery of this aim.

As the inquiry made clear, organisations can take local action on this issue, and we are pleased that some organisations, such as University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, already have a system of named nurses. Where named nurses have been implemented, this should be evaluated so that lessons can be learnt and good practice shared.

At a seminar hosted by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges on 25 September 2013, it was clear there is professional consensus around the issue of named clinicians, and the Academy is leading work to take this forward. The Academy will produce key principles with worked examples on how this can be implemented in a way that sustains professional support.

Update

The Academy of Royal Colleges published Guidance for Taking Responsibility: Accountable Clinicians and Informed Patients in June 2014. This provides guidance on how responsible clinicians and named nurses can be implemented in practice.