Hospitals are to be rated according to the levels of care and empathy their nurses give to patients under a new initiative to raise standards in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
Health Secretary Alan Johnson said he wants the performance of every nursing team in every ward across England to be scored, with the results displayed on an official website.
Mr Johnson said he believes compassionate care from nurses is as crucial to the recovery of patients as the skills of surgeons.
The compassion index will be compiled by health regulators using surveys of patients’ views while in hospital, including feedback about the attitude of staff.
It will also measure standards of nutritional care, minimisation of pain, hand-washing and safety on the wards.
The proposal are being launched at the annual conference of the NHS Confederation.
It is the first of several initiatives which will emerge from a review of the NHS that the Prime Minister commissioned from Lord Darzi, the cancer surgeon and health minister.
Mr Johnson said he hoped to encourage friendly rivalry between wards over which nursing team could achieve the best ratings.
He said he had strong support from the Royal College of Nursing and health union Unison.
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