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Named Doctors 'Will Improve Hospital Care'
Hospital patients will for the first time be assigned a named consultant responsible for all their care.
New guidance from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges puts individual doctors in charge of patients, even if they have multiple medical problems.
Patients will have the doctor's name written above their bed. And a named nurse on every shift will provide day-to-day care.
According to the Academy the move should improve patient safety and the quality of care - and was a key recommendation of the Francis Report into the mid-Staffs scandal.
It should also mean patients are discharged only if it is clinically appropriate and they have appropriate support.
Sky News revealed last month that many hospitals are sending patients home overnight without adequate care in place.
Professor Terence Stephenson, Chair of the Academy said: "Doctors recognise that we need to have clear lines of responsibility when it comes to the way patients are treated during their stay in hospital.
"(Patients) need to know who to go to if they have questions or if they think something needs to be done differently.
"This is vital if we are to drive up standards of care and continue to safeguard patient safety."
The guidelines were produced in response to a request by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Mr Hunt said: "Patients tell us that, too often, their care isn't joined up.
"That's why every patient should have a single responsible clinician whose job it is to help them with anything that goes wrong and make sure they get the care they need. This guidance will make that a reality."
The move was welcomed by the parents of two-year-old Alice Mason, who died from irreversible brain damage after a breakdown in communication by doctors at two hospitals caring for her.
Alice's mother Rosalyn told Sky News: "They should have been talking to each other on the phone at the very least.
"Faxes that were supposed to have been received from one hospital did not arrive, voicemails were not picked up. So communication is part of it."