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.”