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By Stephen Tilley, Roger Watson

Responsibility is a key difficulty for nurses and midwives within the NHS at the present time. specialist accountability--being accountable for your activities and for the results of those actions--is a part of the framework of scientific governance, which goals to supply high quality, comparatively cheap, evidence-based care.The moment version of responsibility in Nursing and Midwifery addresses present concerns and key matters in responsibility, concentrating on responsibility within the 4 major branches of nursing (adult, baby, studying disabilities and psychological health), in addition to in midwifery, neighborhood nursing, and nursing administration. In an more and more litigious society, the moral and criminal implications of responsibility are starting to be and it's important that nurses comprehend the consequences for daily perform.

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Extra resources for Accountability in Nursing and Midwifery

Example text

Clinical governance, as such, is about the ‘governance’ of the Health Service, and thus about accountability and about structures and processes. . Clinical governance is not the sum of all these activities: rather it is the means by which these activities are brought together into a structured framework and linked to the corporate agenda of NHS bodies. In summary the clinical governance initiative in England and in Scotland can be seen as the establishment of new systems and lines of accountability.

On a day-to-day basis nurses might be called to account by patients or family members and therefore be required to explain what they are doing and why. They may have to give an account of their practices or even of the practices of other clinical staff within the NHS. However, because this is informal and nurses are not ‘obliged’ to be accountable to patients Watson (1992) suggests that this is being accountable ‘for’ rather than ‘to’ patients. Therefore, nurses aren’t really accountable to patients.

Although Lewis & Batey do not acknowledge that accountability is part of control they contradict their own assertion and suggest that accountability can ‘support tight control over nursing service goals and functions’ (p. 13, italics added) and illustrate the basic concept of control by suggesting that accountability structures make the purposes, processes and outcomes of nursing visible to those in power. Therefore Lewis & Batey can be seen to be internally inconsistent. They contradict their earlier statement that accountability and control are not linked with an almost perfect illustration of the link between accountability, control and power.

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