NHS boss 'angry and shocked' after inquiry into hospital's care failures
THE findings of an inquiry into failings at Stafford Hospital have left the chairman of Derbyshire's NHS primary care trusts "angry" and "shocked".
Robert Francis QC's report recommended that hospitals which fail to comply with a "fundamental standard" should be closed and that they should be liable for prosecution.
The report, published yesterday, was looking into failings at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust but also at wider-ranging reforms of the NHS.
It follows the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of patients at Stafford Hospital, between 2005 and 2009, due to substandard care.
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Inquiry chairman Mr Francis made a total of 290 sweeping recommendations to the Government in his 1,782-page document.
Health organisations in Derbyshire welcomed the report but wanted to reassure patients they were already "working side-by-side to provide safe care and high standards."
Mark Todd, chairman of NHS Derby City and NHS Derbyshire County, said: "The reports into events at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust make shocking reading for us all. I am angry so many people have been failed by their local NHS.
"Derbyshire considered, acted upon and monitored outcomes relating to the 2010 inquiry – and already has plans in place to consider this final report. However, there are no grounds for complacency. We owe it to our patients and their families to ensure the quality of care in Derbyshire is of the highest order."
Derbyshire's health organisations also include the city's hospitals trust, mental health trust, Derbyshire Healthcare and the community health services trust.
They said that last summer they had together developed a set of guidelines – with the help of patients – for staff to follow which would ensure care was "fit for the 21st century".
They also said they had created the Derbyshire Nursing Cabinet – a board of senior nurses looking at key issues affecting nurses.
The county's hospitals said measures had also been introduced to safeguard patients, including unannounced ward visits.
From April, four GP-led teams – called clinical commissioning groups – will take over the provision of local health services from primary care trusts.
And the groups said they were already making sure the failings in Staffordshire were "not repeated locally".
Dr Sheila Newport, chairman of the NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "All four groups consider safety and quality of care to be of utmost importance. It is essential we study the report and learn from its findings in order to be sure that our patients continue to receive the best care possible."
Phil Milligan, chief executive of East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: "The Francis Report rightly challenges all NHS organisations to look at the services and care they provide. Our director of nursing and quality is reviewing the report to identify the recommendations made and how, in addition to the work we already do, we can apply them."