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Your five second guide to what happened at the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust

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Find out why everyone’s talking about the Francis Report and what happened at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust

  • March 1999 – Royal College of Nursing general secretary Christine Hancock criticises Stafford Hospital for cuts to frontline nurses
  • August 2001 – The Stafford Primary Care Group wrote a critical report of the management and leadership at Mid Staffordshire General Hospital
  • January 2002 – Commission for Health Improvement publishes a highly critical report on Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, describing a lack of governance, poor culture and some staff under “constant pressure”
  • May 2003 – Peer review report into care for critically ill and critically injured children raised serious concerns about the accident and emergency department at Stafford Hospital
  • July 2004 – Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust receives a zero star rating from the Healthcare Commission after having a three start rating a year earlier
  • April 2005 – Toni Brisby is appointed chair of Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust
  • May 2005 – Stafford Hospital nurse Eva Clark dies after taking an overdose of anti-depressants. She had complained of bullying by a senior colleague
  • August 2005 – David Nicholson, then chief executive of the Black Country Strategic Health Authority, takes on chief executive responsibilities for the Shropshire and Staffordshire SHA
  • September 2005 – Martin Yeates is appointed chief executive of Mid Staffordshire Trust
  • March 2006 – Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust announces plans to axe 150 jobs in order to save £10m
  • May 2006 – Peer review of critical children’s services and A&E department raises serious safety concerns
  • November 2005 – Government reduces the criteria for NHS trusts to apply for foundation trust status – from those with a “three star” rating from the Healthcare Commission to those with a “two star” rating
  • January 2006 – Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust is told it is at least two years away from applying for foundation trust status, following a meeting with its strategic health authority
  • June 2006 – Cynthia Bower becomes chief executive of new NHS West Midlands SHA and David Nicholson appointed chief executive of NHS London SHA
  • August 2006 – Consultant Physician Dr Peter Daggett writes to managers expressing fears over nursing shortages in Emergency Assessment Unit
  • October 2006 – Primary care trusts merge in a major reorganisation of the NHS across the country, as do strategic health authorities
  • April 2007 – Dr Foster Hospital Guide is published and highlights Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust as having a hospital standardised mortality rate (HSMR) of 127
  • June 2007 – Trust receives support from health minister Andy Burnham to have its foundation trust bid decided by Monitor
  • 2007 – Mortality alerts for a number of conditions begin to alert the Healthcare Commission to concerns at the trust
  • October 2007 – Dr Chris Turner, an emergency medicine trainee, begins work at Stafford A&E and later describes the department as “an absolute disaster”
  • November 8, 2007 – Bella Bailey, aged 86, dies at Stafford Hospital
  • December 2007 – Cure the NHS action group, led by Julie Bailey, is formed after a public meeting
  • February 2008 – Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust is awarded foundation trust status by Monitor
  • February 27, 2008 – Healthcare Commission announces a full investigation into Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust mortality rates, governance and care of older patients
  • May 23, 2008 – Royal College of Nursing general secretary Peter Carter visits the hospital and praises the trust in letter to local newspapers
  • March 2009 – Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust chair Toni Brisby resigns. Chief executive Martin Yeates stands aside on full pay ahead of the Healthcare Commission final report
  • March 2009 – Healthcare Commission publishes its report on Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust
  • April 2009 – Respected clinician Professor Sir George Alberti publishes his review of the procedures for emergency admissions and treatment at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust
  • April 2009 – Primary care tsar Dr David Colin Thomé publishes a review of lessons learnt for commissioners and performance managers following the scandal at Mid Staffs
  • July 2009 – Following further reports on Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust and continuing calls for a full public inquiry, health secretary Andy Burnham announces an independent inquiry to investigate the failings at the trust
  • August 2009 – Antony Sumara appointed chief executive at Mid Staffordshire Trust for a two year period
  • October 2009 – Royal College of Surgeons review into Stafford Hospitals surgery department labels it “dysfunctional” and at times “frankly dangerous” for patients
  • November 2009 – Robert Francis QC begins hearing evidence in private as part of his independent inquiry
  • February 2010 – Robert Francis QC publishes his independent inquiry report into the poor care at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust
  • May 2010 – General election campaign. The Conservatives promise a full public inquiry into the scandal at Mid Staffordshire, but the Labour says it would be damaging to the trust
  • June 2010 – New health secretary Andrew Lansley asks Robert Francis QC to conduct a full public inquiry, with the power to compel witnesses to give evidence on oath
  • December 2011 – The public inquiry finishes hearing evidence after more than 12 months


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