Calls for a public inquiry into standards at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust have been blocked.
A motion tabled in a debate at the House of Commons by shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley was lost by a slim majority of 43 votes on Monday.
Instead, the Commons health select committee is considering hearing evidence about conditions at Mid Staffordshire as part of its patient safety inquiry in June.
The Royal College of Nursing is also calling for an independent inquiry, to be held in private but with findings published publicly.
RCN general secretary Dr Peter Carter said: ‘We feel it is in everyone’s interests if there is a full independent inquiry. We do not think it needs to be held in public, because people can often be more forthcoming if they are not appearing in some kind of “star chamber”. The important thing is that it is totally independent and reports its findings publicly.’
Mid Staffordshire trust was heavily criticised in a report by the Healthcare Commission, which claimed safety had been compromised by low staffing levels.