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Police to examine Francis report for evidence

Staffordshire Police has announced plans to review evidence from the Francis report “to identify whether there is any potential for criminal charges” in the wake of care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.

Following the publication of the Francis report on 6 February police have come under pressure to investigate poor care at the trust, including from health secretary Jeremy Hunt who said the evidence should be reviewed.

Today, Staffordshire assistant chief constable Nick Baker met with the Crown Prosecution Service and the Office of the Police Crime Commissioner where the issue was discussed.

Following the meeting Mr Baker said: “Staffordshire Police will be reviewing information brought to light by the Francis Inquiry in order to identify whether there is any potential for criminal charges.

“To assist us with this task we shall be obtaining advice from specialist prosecutors from the Crown Prosecution Service.”

He added: “This [Francis] is a very substantial report which we will link into what is already known by previous police investigations, to see if there are any additional investigative enquiries that are required.

“This will need to be a thorough, carefully considered process and will inevitably take some time. Throughout this process we will be contacting the appropriate patients’ representatives.”

Maggie Oldham, deputy chief executive at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, said this afternoon: “We are sorry about the events of the past and sadly, we cannot undo them or the harm that some of our patients and their relatives suffered as a result of terrible care when they were at their most vulnerable. However it is not representative of the care patients receive at Stafford Hospital today.

“We will of course co-operate fully with any police investigation.”

Readers' comments (43)

  • tinkerbell

    Yes!

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  • Susan Markham

    Ooops - I sense this is going to be another Stepping Hill type of jobbie. Anyone remember Rebecca Leighton's story?

    I found the statement made by Staffordshire assistant chief constable Nick Baker "This [Francis] is a very substantial report which we will link into what is already known by previous police investigations, to see if there are any additional investigative enquiries that are required" to be slightly chilling...

    What "previous police investigations" are they talking about? As far as I know there hasn't been a police investigation held at Mid Staffs before so what could that mean?

    Perhaps they are going to look for investigations that have been held about staff members that are not related to the hospital at all.

    Perhaps you've incurred a speeding ticket, been cautioned as a youth, been prosecuted for shoplifting, been burgled and called the police or had any interaction with the police that ends up on their central computer database you could be a prime suspect for killing patients.

    It would be a great way to fish for scapegoats!

    I also presume that the police investigations will not simply be restricted to Doctors, Nurses and HCAs - I hope they will be investigating ALL the people who work in the Trust... CEOs, Nursing Directors, pharmacists, cleaning staff and every last person who ever worked in that place... top to bottom!

    I also hope they investigate how many incident report forms were "binned/ignored" by members of the senior nursing administration.

    Nahhhhh.... of course they won't. It's a witch hunt with the sole purpose to crucify a few nurses so that Jeremy Hunt ends up looking good.

    It doesn't matter if the accused are guilty or not... just so the Frankenstein's monster baying mob sees some blood being shed... all will be well.

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  • Police to examine Francis report for evidence.

    Good. The patients and their families deserve this.

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  • Apparently two doctors were previously investigated for bad medical decisions. No criminal proceedings were taken against them.

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  • Sir David Nicholson, the head of the NHS should resign for presiding over the ‘appalling care’ that led to at least 1,200 patient deaths at Stafford Hospital
    Sign the petition

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/45576

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  • Gary Musgrove

    Why does the British way of life have to be so "revenge" related ??? Yes I agree the whole issue should never had occurred in the first place but it did and the outcome was the Francis report. Whats happened to the "no blame" culture the NHS says it promotes ?? I don't think more public money needs to be wasted by the police re-investigating what has already been investigated and reported upon. Can we not just LEARN from the errors identified in the Francis report and use this public money to implement the recommendations rather than police work. Jeremy Hunt needs to look in his own "back yard" and sort his own department out before he points his finger at nurses and doctors despite all the excellent work we do. As for his "whistle blower gag rule" again he needs to check his own departments as time and time again some kind of wrong doing is reported that our government has done and "HIDDEN".
    Come on NHS lets just get on with rebuilding bridges with our users and improve on what we already do.

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  • nicholson should be jailed

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  • michael stone

    I don’t have time to work out where it was, but some people were discussing how Mid Staffs might lead to prosecutions.

    According to today’s Daily Telegraph – which says the HSE ‘held fire’ during the Francis inquiry:


    MANAGERS and staff involved in the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal could face prosecution under health and safety laws, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.
    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is considering carrying out an investigation into the death of Gillian Astbury, 66, who died at Stafford Hospital in 2007.
    The executive has the power to bring criminal prosecutions under the Health and Safety at Work Act, which makes employers liable for harm suffered by members of the public. Convictions can be punishable by unlimited fines or up to two years in jail.

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  • tinkerbell

    Gary Musgrove | 16-Feb-2013 12:18 pm

    Should this apply to all criminals? What one man calls revenge another calls justice.

    Regardless of status or rank in the NHS they should be held to account for their omissions and commisions.

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  • michael stone

    I gather that the Health Secretary has used one of my favourite phrases somewhere ('opennness and transparency') but I'm not certain where: possibly in a letter to Trusts, which has not yet found its way into the papers.

    I find it unsettling, that Hunt and I seem to be in agreement: that is a very unusual !

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  • Gary Musgrove

    tinkerbell | 16-Feb-2013 1:57 pm

    Maybe tinkerbell should understand that criminals serve their sentence by being named and shamed, fined or jailed for a specified amount of time which is more often than not "cut" short. Criminals are then free as they have paid the price for their crime. Do you not think that Mid Staffordshire Trust has been named and shamed and paid a very heavy price for what happened and will always have this hanging over their heads probably forever. They say they have improved and are now up to to standard. I don't live anywhere near Mid Staffordshire but I really feel for the majority of GOOD nurses and doctors who work there and have worked so hard to build the bridges and put right the "negligent" nurses and doctors destroyed. These good doctors and nurses may one day work in your Trust ........... I wonder what you would do or say then

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  • tinkerbell

    Gary Musgrove | 16-Feb-2013 7:06 pm

    Gary i understand what you are saying and in an ideal world but............... if this doesn't lead to criminal prosecutions then it will most definitely happen again and is probably happening already in some trusts elsewhere. People died needlessly over a long period of time. If no one found out it would probably still be ongoing. We cannot just jog on hoping that everyone has learned the lesson cos' we found out.

    Mid staffs should not be seen as a 'one off'.

    I do not want to see good doctors and nurses careers ruined but i would like to see those who allowed these atrocities that occured to be called to account, the so called upper echelons.

    Innocent, trusting people died as a result of the contempt that managers had for human life. I don't doubt that there were good nurses and doctors raising concerns that fell on deaf ears repeatedly.

    If nothing comes of it all the message that is being sent out to other ruthless managers/CE's across the land, 'you too can put profit margins before human life'.
    History repeats itself and lessons learned are often forgotten. Corruption continues ad infinitim across all institutions.

    Justice should be blind regardless of rank or status.

    If the good nurses and doctors worked in my trust i would welcome them.

    If there were bad nurses and doctors working in my trust i would challenge them as i have always done and report them for sure.

    Just because i am a nurse doesn't mean though that i can turn my back on seeking justice for the victims of this crime, otherwise the perpetrators rights are put above the victims and we are all going to hell in a basket if corruption goes unchallenged.

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  • Gary Musgrove | 16-Feb-2013 7:06 pm

    The heavy price for what occurred at the Mid Staffordshire Trust has been and continues to be paid by the victims and their loved ones! Are you seriously suggesting that the patients who were the victims of appalling care and families of those who died at Stafford hospital should just let bygones be bygones? One of the biggest issues highlighted in the Francis Report is the NHS cover-it-up-and-sweep-it-under-the-carpet culture. The majority who are good clinicians have nothing to fear and shouldn't see this as a negative move.

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  • Susan Markham

    Gary Musgrove | 16-Feb-2013 7:06 pm

    Wow... Gary, perhaps you could share some of what you have been toking with the rest of us because to be bloody honest I don't understand a fricking word of what you are saying.

    What I do understand is that you are very inebriated and somewhat fixated upon my bessy mate Tinkerbell.

    I tell you what... you go off and have a good sleep... came back when you can parse a good sentence... and be a gentleman.

    Otherwise... Can you spell "Orchidectomy?" minus the anaesthesia?

    Chin up Gazza!

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  • Sir David Nicholson, the head of the NHS should resign for presiding over the ‘appalling care’ that led to at least 1,200 patient deaths at Stafford Hospital
    Sign the petition

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/45576

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  • Susan Markham

    Ahhhhhh.... sweet satisfaction... the wall is finally starting to crumble.... another two former CE's have followed Gary Walker's example and are spilling the beans to PC plod and the press!

    The second whistleblower is David Bowles, the former chairman of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, and Mr Walker’s former boss.

    It looks like Sir David Nicholson is going... along with his sidekick Dame Edna Everuseless... The Daily Maul Have already sacked both of them.

    Sir Dave is having his expense accounts investigated by the lads at the Met. He has spent £6,000 of public money on trips to Birmingham – where his wife lives.

    Many of the “visits” spanned long weekends, (meaning he was only working Tuesday to Thursday) prompting speculation he was using taxpayers’ money for “private” purposes. Of course it was just tax-payers money.... just a “slush-fund” for an unelected and corrupt oligarchy...

    Well wouldn't all of us Nurses just love to go away for long romantic weekends at the tax-payers expense????

    Heheheheee.... Yeah - in another universe maybe?

    In the meantime... Tory MPs are trying to distance themselves from the obvious effluent outflow ASAP.

    Two MPs have already called upon "Old Nick" to quit - and by the time you read this it will be up to double figures.

    Sir David, whose annual salary package is £270,000, insists he is ‘not ashamed’ to still be in his post because the failure were ‘system wide’ rather than individual.

    The truth is that the £270,000 is blood money....

    I've heard that even Germy Hunt's position is being debated behind closed doors...

    Of course none of this is going to effect you and I because - of course - we are the mere humble servants that are called "Nurses"... so we will continue to politely curtsey or doff our hats and accept a minimum wage - - - - - - BUT AT LEAST WE CAN HAVE A BLOODY GOOD LAUGH WHEN THE BIG HEADS ROLL AND SAY....

    We told you so!

    Then maybe the people in charge might start listening to us front-line nurses (small 'n')

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  • Susan Markham

    Will we ever see some of the millions of pounds these greedy CE bar-stewards have squirrelled away in their tax-haven nests?

    NOT A FOOGING CHANCE!

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  • Susan Markham

    The word on the grapevine is that that Germy Runt has been asked to resign.

    It may take 7-10 days before he officially announces it though...

    Keep your listening ears on folks!

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  • Susan Markham

    Anonymous | 17-Feb-2013 0:23 am

    Hey - go and get the good news....

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21444058

    Somebody's actually going to get a hiding and it rhymes with Germy C*nt.... but of course I am not talking about Jeremy Hunt... He is our wonderful leader - he is so compassioante....

    Wake me up when I'm sober eh?

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  • michael stone

    tinkerbell | 16-Feb-2013 7:55 pm

    Gary Musgrove | 16-Feb-2013 7:06 pm


    This one is a bit tricky - if people make 'reasonable mistakes' and are heavily punished, then everyone will tend to cover up such events, so hardly anybody (except perhaps the person who actually made the mistake) will learn the lessons.

    For 'systemic' problems, it is crucial that the mistakes come into the light, so that other 'systems' (other hospitals, etc) can see if they can learn any lessons - getting the balance between punishing the seriousy guilty, and not deterring people from admitting to mistakes, is tricky.

    And I write this, as someone who understands why the families 'want comeback', because I've personally had the experience of 'the system not properly listening to me, when I raised a concern' - even if you are not complaining about the death of a loved one, this 'you get ignored and brushed off' does nothing to improve your opinion of 'the system'.

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