UK & World News
Mid Staffs Scandal: More Hospitals Investigated
Five hospital trusts are to be investigated over their mortality rates following the publication of the inquiry into mistreatment and neglect of patients at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
An immediate probe is to be launched into Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.
The news follows Robert Francis QC's scathing report which laid bare the events at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009, and which called for a "zero tolerance" approach to poor standards in the health system.
The Department of Health put cash over patient care, the report into the unnecessary deaths of up to 1,200 patients concluded.
A total of 290 recommendations were made in the report which found the hospital trust tolerated or sought to explain away bad news.
In his report, Mr Francis attacked local health authorities and the trust board - but did not blame any one individual or organisation for the "disaster" at the hospital.
Sir David Nicholson, who was in charge of the local strategic health authority for Stafford between 2003 and 2006, and is now Chief Executive of the NHS, admitted the "whole system" failed patients at the hospital.
He told Sky News: "It was an absolutely appalling set of arrangements.
"When we saw the mortality rates of course we were concerned about all of that but those mortality rates came after I'd actually left.
"The major responsibility for the care at Mid Staffordshire Hospital was the board ... but nevertheless the whole system failed those patients in a very catastrophic way, and it's my responsibility to put that right, and that is what I'm doing."
He added: "I have apologised both to the families and the people of Stafford for the appalling experience they had - apologies are not enough.
"I take my share of the responsibility for what happened."
The report called for a "zero tolerance" approach to poor standards of care and said hospitals which failed to comply with a "fundamental standard" should be forced to close.
It also called for greater emphasis on compassion across the health service - and said healthcare providers should be liable for prosecution if they failed to meet standards.
Mr Francis said the NHS had a series of checks and balances which should have prevented "serious systematic failure of this sort".
But he said the system failed in its primary duty of protecting patients and that "numerous" warning signs were missed which should have alerted authorities to problems at the trust.
Speaking as the report was published, Mr Francis said: "This is a story of appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people.
"They were failed by a system which ignored the warning signs and put corporate self-interest and cost control ahead of patients and their safety.
"We need a patient-centred culture, no tolerance of non-compliance with fundamental standards, openness and transparency, candour to patients, strong cultural leadership, caring compassionate nursing, and useful and accurate information about services.
"In short, the trust that the public should be able to place in the NHS was betrayed."
Mr Francis said whistleblowers reported failings in care, reports painted a picture of a hospital that was severely stretched and there were indications of dysfunctional management.
But he said consultants "kept their heads down" and that staff who spoke out were bullied and the truth suppressed.
Managers had "no culture" for listening to patients, who he said were excluded, along with their families, from their own care.
The report said poor leadership and staffing policies led to a "completely inadequate" standard of nursing on some wards at Stafford Hospital.
His failure to name any individual comes despite many calls for Mr Nicholson to resign over the scandal.
"This is not a case where it was ever going to be possible or permissible to find an individual or a group of individuals was to blame for this," he said.
An increased culture of compassion and caring in nursing is called for in the report, which recommended there should be a legal obligation for healthcare providers and medics to observe a "duty of candour".
Responding to the report's publication, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "What happened at Mid Staffordshire Hospital NHS Trust was not just wrong. It was truly dreadful."
He also apologised on behalf of the government and country for the way the system had allowed "horrific abuse to go unchecked and unchallenged", saying: "I am truly sorry."
Mr Cameron said the report's evidence of systemic failure means "we cannot say with confidence that failings of care are limited to one hospital".
The scandal at the hospital emerged in 2009, when it was revealed between 400 to 1,200 more people died than would have been expected between 2005 and 2008.
The NHS Commissioning Board, which announced a probe into five further trusts, said the investigation would to be carried out by medical director Sir Bruce Keogh.
The five trusts, which had higher than expected death rates for two successive years to 2012, welcomed the probe and said they were committed to improving mortality rates.
what do you think?
Mid Staffordshire hospital is an example of what is yet to come after more years of this heinous agenda and propaganda of the states vision of a privatized nhs 'the nurses don't care, they don't have empathy, lack of compassion, they're lazy, incompetent, dirty, workshy blah blah blah' The NHS is being smashed to bits, and it's OURS it's OURS we need to stand up for our nurses and our accident and emergency wards not spit at them, we need them! We need to protect them! Do not dance to the rich mans tune. Our local accident and emergency is being shut down, it serves 500,000 people and we now have to travel 30 miles away. People will definitely die. Our precious health care is being destroyed and all you can do is slag off our hardworking nurses. Shame on you, shame on you.
Sorry Jimmy but I just can't take you seriously given the narrow viewpoint your comment portrays. It seems the problems with the NHS are Privatisation, propaganda,successive govts, Rich people, biased independent reports, criticism of the staff etc. And as for precious health care do you not realise there are Hospitals in this country KILLING people through neglect
Neglect because there are shortages of staff David...why are there shortages of staff David? Because the management are following government legislation and targets David. But why i hear you ask? They want the nhs to fail David. David David David. For such an old looking man i thought you might have some wisdom to go with it.
Gerry- stand up for others or there'll be no one left to stand up for you.
What a silly uncaring attitude you have. Your story, if true, is most probably your bias take on something that you have exaggerated.
Gerry. Don't bother trying to give your opinion. Jimmy is right end of. This subject seems to be his hobby horse so let the lad play with it in peace
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davenlesley Once again I do believe you are spot on with your observation Dave Horses and water how does the saying go ha.
Sorry Jimmyjed..... I could name a hospital other than Staffs who should have been held responsible for my brother in laws death. There were plenty of wonderful nurses all sitting around talking about their own lives when they should have been caring for patients. Sorry there is good and bad in our NHS
Windows Live User
Jimmy Jedi? True as the day is long and unfortunately in this case required no exaggeration. live in denial, but dont forget Argument is meant to reveal the truth, not to create it.
Jimmy. Shortages of Staff?? New Labour were pouring record amounts of money into the NHS at the time so that excuse won't wash
People have campaigned in the past for the directors of private companies to be held responsible for the actions of employees whose errors have led to the deaths of others and eventually the offence of Corporate Manslaughter was created. Is it not now time for these same standards to be applied to public bodies like the NHS.
Windows Live User
that would be cat amongst pigeons Would certainly wake 'em up
Jimmy. Why am I not surprised. Pursue private firms who transgress with vigour but allow public institutions to continue killing people with impunity.
Cash over human life? Profit over compassion? Greed before goodness? Sounds like capitalism to me.
Under a socialist government that proud claim it created the NHS heaven help us if the capitalist take control
New Labour are not socialists, do catch up Mick.
And the elimination of bed blockers continues uncommented on, hospitals are receiving money from the government for meeting targets for implementing the Liverpool "Care" Pathway. Old folk considered worthless bed blockers are being denied food and water to hasten their end, purely for financial reasons.
Windows Live User
Question - Why is it the first thing they ask is "how old are you!?
where do you get this ridiculous information from john?
From recent experience this policy is a form of legalised manslaughter
Ridiculous Andrea? do a little research, you might be surprised. Bed blockers are a problem to politicians, old people past any use to them, the LCP is their answer, very cost effective, withdraw food and water, a couple of days, bed unblocked, problem solved. I don't know how old you are Andrea, but we all grow old, be scared, it could be you next.
im a nurse john, have been for30 ys, i kmow the truth and know the research.
you are talking absolute rubbish john, absolute rubbish. im so cross.
john please google end of life pathways.
Oh I see Andrea, all of those people I heard on LBC Radio recounting the "treatment" their elderly relatives suffered after being placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway were liars were they? even the MP who has raised the question of the "treatment" of her parents in Parliament?
Andrea can you please explain why two separate doctors have admitted in private a post-70 covert policy?
Andrea, I have just googled LCP and it hasn't set my mind at ease, quite the opposite, it looks like state removal of bed blockers. What has happened to this country?
Why is it, (yet again) that there is "no one person or organisation is to blame" for these deaths. The article states that staff who spoke out were "bullied and the truth suppressed". If that is the case, why are those responsible for the bullying and suppression not being prosecuted??. We are talking about sending Chris Huhne to prison for perverting the course of justice over a traffic offence (rightly so) but at least,he is not responsible for anyone's death. The management at this so called hospital are responsible for up to 1200 needless deaths and someone needs to be visibly punished for this. I don't mean some random scapegoat either, let's have those at the top in court, to answer charges. Justice must not only be done but seen to be done............
well come to the fascist state .who is responsible, you are , you let it happen
Britain is sheep central mate- it will happen and is happening. At least we can tell our grand kids we tried to warn the herd. Britain is the most zombied state of mind people on planet earth.
Windows Live User
Jimmy spot on Question - Will you be alive when the grandkids can understand? Sheepstate most definite.
Hope so, but if not my children will!
this happened under a socialist government that proud claim it created the NHS heaven help us if the capitalist take control
I repeat, New Labour aren't socialists Mick, Tory party B more like.
A government has been elected that stands by and watches it's senior citizens constructively murdered
Russell I wonder which particular government we are talking about given the time period over which the Stafford affair was ongoing?
"..no one individual was responsible.." that'd be the entire management structure then.
Too many senior managers that know nothing about health issues, pen pushers bring back fully trained Matrons, instead of these useless overpaid managers that walk around hospitals with bits of paper doing absolutely nothing constructive, and I have first hand of this.
Thats just what our freind ,whose a nurse has just said to us.
as an NHS worker I agree with you Heather. They messed the NHS up in the 70's with all the reorganisation back then. It's just gone down and down since then.
Heather I understand the national socialists in germany at the Nurenburg trials said the same
heather your point is valid we need a return to basics and that includes training - I was married to a nurse who trained under the old system (not the 2000 model) and she was horrified at the falling standards.
It seems those within the profession and otherwise agree, Heather. Who is it that doesn't and prevents common sense from being allowed a look-in?
every NHS worker i know says the same. Th answers are there with the staff who work for the NHS. The management just won't consult enough.
How is it possible for up to 1200 people to die unnecessarily without anyone noticing???????? As the NHS runs on targets these days surely someone must have noticed that particular statistic and chose to ignore it or hide it.
As with all statistics they can be managed example: my late mother went to a casualty department and waited 2hr 50m when I played my face after 2hrs the receptionist checked the computer and i was told the doctor was with her (untrue) what they were doing was logging on as attending before the three hour time.
blue i've heard of that happening a lot. A programme on tv last autumn devoted itself to reb=vealing how common this practice was. All this target driven management is not working and that has been obvious now for a very long time.
Louisa missed that prog. I always argued big is not beautiful and these mega sized hospitals allow the creation of hierarchical systems - more clip boards than stethoscopes
So they were target driven...have we forgotten who sets the targets? The ultimate responsibility should lie with the ministers responsible for creating the situation, whether they are still in post or not. Accountability should be retrospective.
Frightening, but not altogether surprising. After a doctor left something behind in me after an operation (for 6 MONTHS - and I did say there was a problem but they hushed me and said I was just mad, in a nutshell, and imagining things), I wrote a letter documenting my concerns, inadequate treatment (during and after) and asking for acknowledgement. A letter followed to say they would deal with the matter and resolve it within 30 days. I received it on Sept 30th 2012. It's 2013 now - still no word. They just don't care, folks!
Movvi.whats happened to you could be serious.im presuming youve already tried to complain to patient liasion service ( pals) with in the hospital concerned.if getting nowhere you can also complain to the.parliamentry and health ombudsman or the independent complaints advocacy service.anyway movvi hope it goes okay for you.
is whatever they left still.in you. this just seemd a bit odd to say the least.
I think this isn't that rare Movvi. How horrific and the worst bit is that they didn't believe you when one x ray could have verified things. Complain complain and complain, if you have the energy!
It's not, Andrea, thankfully! Thanks, Shaun, also - I was offered a service if I had trouble writing letters, etc, fair play to them (not that I needed it). So I wrote one independently just to complain and make clear that it shouldn't happen to anyone else. It's just silly that though they said they would resolve it within 30 days, 4 months later they have just gone quiet. I'll wait for the 6th month mark before writing again, Louisa, stating my extreme disappointment in them! The disappointment thing works well, I think, rather than the angry!
Incidentally, my GP asked if it was a certain doctor who had carried out my procedure and when I confirmed it was, he said himself the guy should have retired yonks ago. Unprofessional, perhaps, in the view of some, but very telling indeed!
How did the Labour government not spot the 1200 people who died . Too obsessed with targets I suspect
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please get facts right before you spout this rubbish.
Its ALL Govenments that were in power whatever party that have cause this failure. Pushing for target and not meeting what us the people want. Employ managers that know nothing and do pen pushing to save money by cutting nusing staff. When the managers should go and the then employ more nuseing staff which are British and speak english. I can't understand the staff in hospitals as they speak some sort of english. When your in hospital its 50 / 50 if you get out alive.
You can't really complain about people not speaking English properly when you post a comment in which you spell the word 'nursing' two different ways, both of which are incorrect !
Problem is too many chiefs trying to make a fast buck and not enough indians
Surprised not to find Warwick Hospital on the list. My mother died from c-diff and was left dead in her bed for at least 20 hours ! Even the consultant offered to support a claim against the hospital but no money would have brought her back.
How terrible Robert. What an undignified way for a lifr to end. My condolences.