independent

Friday 18 April 2014

More probes after Stafford report

Robert Francis made a total of 290 sweeping recommendations for healthcare regulators, providers and the Government

Five hospital trusts are to be investigated over high death rates following a scathing report which laid bare the "disaster" of Stafford Hospital.

NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh is to launch an immediate investigation into five trusts which had higher-than-average death rates for the last two years.

The news follows the publication of the Francis Report, which highlighted the "appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of patients" at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2009.

Patients were left for hours sitting in their own faeces, food and drink was left out of reach, and hygiene was so poor that relatives had to clean toilets themselves.

Prime Minister David Cameron apologised for the "truly dreadful" mistreatment and neglect at the trust.

Speaking in the Commons after the 1,782-page report was released, Mr Cameron announced a raft of changes designed to ensure that any future failures in NHS organisations are detected and dealt with quickly. He ordered the creation of the post of Chief Inspector of Hospitals, who will have responsibility for a regime of inspections.

Julie Bailey, who set up campaign group Cure The NHS after her mother, Bella Bailey, 86, died at the scandal-hit hospital in 2007, said: "We want resignations, we are going nowhere. We have lost hundreds of lives within the NHS, we want accountability."

Lyn Hill-Tout, chief executive at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We know that we still do not get everything right all of the time and are not complacent and, as Mr Francis has outlined, many important changes are needed in the NHS and particularly personnel and collective responsibility for ensuring safe, good care to our patients."

She apologised for the failure "to keep patients safe", but said Stafford Hospital is now a changed place.

:: The trusts to be investigated by Professor Sir Bruce are Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

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