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Mid Staffs inquiry 'will probe every nook and cranny'


The public inquiry into major failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust will “explore every relevant nook and cranny” in a bid to find out why appalling standards of care were allowed to continue, the lawyer leading the probe said today.

The inquiry into the care provided by the trust between 2005 and 2009 aims to build on the work of an earlier independent investigation which disclosed a catalogue of failings at the trust, which runs hospitals in Stafford and Cannock Chase.

Tom Kark QC, leading counsel to the inquiry, said: “The purpose of this second and now public inquiry is to focus not on what went wrong but how it was allowed to go on for so long without appropriate remedial action.

“Why did no one act to correct the serious errors that were undoubtedly taking place?

“Why did the healthcare system as a whole tolerate what were clearly unacceptable standards of care?

“Why did those who should have been in the right position to take steps not do so?”

He added: “Despite the existence of national and local agencies concerned with the regulation of the NHS and the delivery of primary, secondary and acute care services, the appalling lack of care was allowed to continue with little effective intervention.

“In leading the inquiry team I have sought to ensure that we explore every relevant nook and cranny of the health service.

“We as a team will do our utmost not to leave a pebble unturned which might reveal material of interest and relevance within the terms of reference.”

The latest inquiry was opened in Stafford by Robert Francis QC, who will start hearing expert evidence next week.

Mr Francis also chaired the previous independent inquiry into failings at Stafford Hospital.


Readers' comments (6)

  • Lets be honest about this. It just won't, will it. Even if it does, nothing will happen. Nothing will change.

    Do you really think blame will fall squarely on the managers/executives/non clinical clipboard wielding target pushers?

    Do you really think they will reverse any and evey trust job freeze and triple the amount of staff on every ward?

    Do you really think that they will listen to any of the myriad of concerns that Nurses have been screaming about for how long now and do anything to fix that?

    Or will they make the usual platitudes and carry on as normal?


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  • Every hospital in the land should be subject to strict scrutiny from outside to pevent mistakes happening and to avoid poor and negligent care and make sure that ALL patients get the treatment they need or require of the highest standards with dignity and respect in all senses of the word including their privacy. Everybody working in healthcare, without exception, has a duty to provide a service for the patients although some seem to think it is just to whinge about their conditions, bully others, work towards a pension or collect their pay packet to support their family. What happened to quality control and ISOs?

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  • Well said Mike you are bang on.

    The first enquiry was a whitewash and so will this one be. because there is no corporate accountability.

    These enquiries are nice little earners for our legal chums though...nice work if you can get it.

    It stinks from top to bottom.

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  • will the enquiry recommend that no more Trusts become Foundation Trusts? Because let's face it - it was the quest for this that drove down standards at Mid Staffs in order to meet the financial targets set by Monitor.

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  • Probe every nook and cranny apart from questioning the Chief Executive, according to the HSJ, bacause he is unwell.

    As usual, it will be front-line staff who carry the can for cost cutting, "efficiency savings", shortages of staff, and cowardly managers who would not stand up for what the patients deserved.

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  • How many hospitals are only a whisker away from being the next 'Stafford'. My trust is, and if we were ever scrutinised, we'd be in serious trouble.
    Probe every nook and cranny, sorry to sound so pessimistic, but what they mean is blame the nurses and all the, as Mike correctly says the 'clipboard wielding target pushers' will get off scot free.

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