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Hospitals must improve systems following Mid Staffs failures

NHS Hospitals must tighten their internal systems to prevent care failures like those witnessed at Mid Staffordshire hospital, according to a report.

The Audit Commission’s report into hospital governance, Taking it on Trust, warned that hospitals must improve procedures because self-assessment was becoming increasingly important in the regulatory framework for hospitals administered by the Care Quality Commission.

The commission warned that Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust had given itself a glowing review, despite serious failings in care standards.

The report says: ‘Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust certified that it was compliant with all core standards except that relating to waste disposal, but it subsequently became clear that it was very far from providing safe, high quality care.

‘Internal controls and board assurances are often not up to the weight now being placed on them by the regulatory framework.

Steve Barnett, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, agreed: ‘Boards need to have robust systems in place to tell them what is going on and the right structures in place to identify risks and manage them. They need good quality data allied to a management culture where leaders feel comfortable walking the wards and asking difficult questions.’

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