“Unacceptable standards of care as a result of systemic failings” led to deficient provision of food and water to patients at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, the independent inquiry has found.
In the report, Robert Francis QC said about half of patients and their families who gave oral evidence to the inquiry gave accounts of difficulties obtaining food and drink.
These included the provision of inappropriate food, failure to provide a meal, patients not encouraged to eat, relatives denied access at mealtimes and visitors prevented from helping feeding.
The inquiry was also told of water not being available at the bedside, drips not being monitored adequately and records of fluid balance not being appropriately maintained.
The report said: ” The deficiencies observed in the evidence were not confined to one ward or period. Frequently the explanation appears to have been a lack of staff, but sometimes staff were present but lacked a sufficiently caring attitude.
“There was evidence of unacceptable standards of care as a result of systemic failings. What has been shown is more than can be explained by the personal failings of a few members of staff.”