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Mid Staff inquiry gets under way

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An independent inquiry into care provided by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust has been launched.

The inquiry was commissioned by health secretary Andy Burnham following the high profile report into care failings at the trust, published in March by the Healthcare Commission

Inquiry chair Robert Francis QC will investigate individual cases relating to the care provided by the trust between January 2005 and March 2009 which cause concern and recommend action to prevent such incidents occurring again.

He said he would be asking patients and or their families, as well as the staff and management at the trust, what happened and why.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Francis said: “This inquiry is not about putting people on trial, but I will not shy away from examining issues that may be uncomfortable and difficult for some, and I will be clear if there are criticisms to be made.”

The inquiry team will now gather all evidence which will be used to inform a series of private hearings. The team can be contacted via email

Royal College of Nursing chief executive Peter Carter said: “We need to unearth the range of issues that lead to the alleged tragic deaths of hundreds of patients. That means not just looking at where individuals were to blame but also the role of organisations including strategic health authorities and primary care trusts.

“We must also at the role of Monitor and whether the trust took its eye off the ball as a result of following the procedure of becoming a foundation trust,” he added.

 

The themes of the Inquiry which will be to:
Supplement the inquiries and reviews that have already taken place by allowing patients, their families and others affected by poor standards of care and services in Mid Stafford Hospital to tell their stories and ensure they are listened to
Allow the hospital staff to offer their experience of the working conditions and culture that is said to have developed and highlight the context within which cases of concern occurred
Consider the role of those who were responsible for the management of the hospital at the time
Review the process of accountability that has been undertaken
Offer an opportunity for engagement between the hospital and the community it serves to enable them to plan together how to mend the fractured confidence
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