UK & World News
Stafford Hospital Report To Change Face Of NHS
A landmark report published into the Stafford Hospital scandal could change the face of healthcare in Britain.
Fundamental reforms will be called for by Robert Francis QC who has led an investigation into why as many as 400 to 1,200 more people died than would have been expected between 2005 and 2008.
The failure of the regulatory bodies has come under particular scrutiny. In 2007, Stafford was given a good rating from the Healthcare Commission, whose job it was to monitor the quality of care.
It will be the fifth major investigation into needless deaths and "appalling standards of care" at Stafford, but the first to be public and independent.
A previous report by Mr Francis noted "shocking" systemic failures of hospital care in Mid Staffordshire.
Patients were routinely neglected, humiliated and in pain as the trust focused on cost-cutting and reaching government targets.
The fight for this latest inquiry was led by Julie Bailey who began the Cure The NHS campaign after her mother died in 2007 in what she called a chaotic ward. People were left in soiled sheets, and dehydrated patients drank from flower vases.
She said of the Francis report: "This is about making sure that this is never allowed to happen again. This is about making sure every hospital is safe.
"This is about people knowing that if they put their loved ones in hospital they are safe and that the hospital is not dangerously out of control."
The death of Deb Hazeldine's 67-year-old mother Ellen is one shocking example of what was happening at Stafford.
"I will never get over it," said Ms Hazeldine who admits that she still struggles to cope more than six years after her loss.
Her mother, who was being treated for cancer, contracted C. difficile and MRSA in Stafford.
"She died of C. diff. When she died we had a call from the undertaker that stated that mum had so many hospital infections she had to be buried in a sealed body bag because she would contaminate the ground she went into," said Ms Hazeldine.
Stafford Hospital continues to be plagued by complaints. In March 2010, 61-year-old Alan Nash walked into the hospital for a routine colonoscopy. But Alan's bowel was perforated and he died the same day.
His daughter Marie Hillman said: "We felt that all eyes would be on Stafford so there would not be any mistakes. Obviously it is one of the biggest regrets I have that we talked him into going."
His wife Jenny Nash said: "I did hear. It was just like somebody had been punched in the stomach where you get that gasp, if you like. It was quite loud. I think that's when they actually perforated it."
Ms Hillman added: "A nurse said to me, you will probably find that this happened at home, this happened before he came in. And I thought there is no way this happened at home."
She maintains that they have still not had an apology. The hospital has not accepted that it breached any duty of care in the case of Mr Nash.
Mr Francis will urge sweeping changes across the whole of the NHS today.
There is likely to be the threat of fines or even closure for hospitals found to have covered up mistakes by doctors and nurses.
The role and make-up of regulatory bodies will be reassessed, better training schemes will be introduced and patients and their families will be given a stronger voice.
The charity Action Against Medical Accidents has already said that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt should accept Mr Francis' recommendations in full, saying they should include minimum ward staffing levels and regulation of health care assistants.
The Royal College of Nursing has expressed serious concerns that nursing numbers and low morale has put the service under enormous strain.
A number of individuals may face criticism in the report. Martin Yeates was chief executive of the Mid-Staffs Trust at the height of the scandal. He left with a big pay-off "by mutual agreement".
The now NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson was with the local regional health authority for some of the time.
Campaigners and nursing organisations believe the Stafford scandal is part of a wider problem.
Everyone will hope that the report will be the catalyst for major changes.
what do you think?
nurses and doctors are paid good money, its a caring profession and if they dont care for people and want to help people they shouldnt be in the job, there are managers to make sure these people do their job correctly and if they dont they should be sacked there are many caring people out there
The managers are destroying the nhs from the inside out, and purposefully too so they mug people off that actually believe we need 'reform' and so we see privatisation by stealth. Wake up would you?
Jimmy. Management comes ultimately from the very top and that means from govt. How I wish they would stop treating the NHS as a political football and put clinicians in charge who know how it works
Doctors, for what they do routinely, are undervalued severely.
Quite correct Ann, My experience of poorly run hospital isnt shortage of staff at all... I have witnessed nurses wasting time sitting chatting in a row and not being at the bedside of people in their care.
Dr. Monicah. I don't under value doctors. Well maybe the one who recently told my Mom and Sis their friend had bowel cancer when he hadn't. There are excellent doctors and not so good doctors. The doctors in that hospital at that time were bad doctors. I also agree with someone's comment with regard to nurses chatting amongst themselves instead of attending to patients..I've witnessed it.
why dont they apply to.do nurse training.then, all these kind and caring people. people who arent nurses have no idea how mentally and physically tiring it is, but the memories are worth it and shock horror we do have chats and some fun with each other and patients.
" a threat of fines or even closure for hospitals" this really isnt gonna serve the public well is it, these hospitals need to be ruthlessly checked and reguarly then the nessesary money and time can be spent on making the nessesary improvements to keep up standards.whats the point of fines of an already cash strapped hospital or even worse closure.
The management are purposefully destroying the nhs from the inside out. Richard branson and all the other gold diggers are circling above the the nhs like hungry vultures waiting until the public have been sucked in by all the lies then they'll swoop in and take it for themselves. The nhs is a gold mine and absolute gold mine and they want it. They want it! Complete privatisation and if you don't pay up you join the back of the queue! Its so sad our country is being destroyed and stolen by the elite and we just let it happen because the majority of us are asleep and just too stupid to realize what's going on. :(
Jimmy1979 That is nonsense and you know it.
Go and watch the xfactor!
The nhs is being destroyed from the inside out by the management. Its orchestrated to suit the agenda of the privatisation of the gold mine that is the nhs. Wake up fools.
Jimmy. And successive govts since 1948 have had no input whatsoever. I think it is you who needs to wake up.Take off the political blinkers and see things as they are.
Go back to sleep Dave. There's a good sheep.
Typical. Those who have no argument resort to slinging insults. Says so much about you
So the staff in that hospital killed people and showed no remorse. The excuse? Morale was low. Oh please..it was sheer laziness and people with not one caring brain cell between them. They all should be ashamed of themselves and riddled with guilt but I doubt they will. Maybe we should bring back matrons stop using contract cleaners sort out the mess with visiting times and get rid of mixed wards. That won't happen,hospitals are businesses now with patients on conveyor belts. Not all hospitals are bad I hasten to add,although hygiene is still a major issue.
''The report said that staffing was so low that there was virtually no one there to care for The patients'' its management destroying the nhs. David cameron and Jeremy hunt are the last people we need anywhere near the nhs- they abandoned their duty of care when they signed the new nhs bill. Do not buy into the propaganda folks- they want our nhs. And they'll do anything to get it.
Jimmy. You are conveniently forgetting that Labour had been in power for 8 years by 2005 and were still in power in 2008. Mr Blair was a great advocate of targets so he bears much of the responsibility. Or is it the global problems that Brown used to explain away his financial mismanagement
Jimmy......I dont understand the low staffing reports. My brother in law recently died in a hospital in Wales.... I visited him daily for 5 weeks... each day 6 nursing members of staff sat behind a desk, in a row, like birds of a fence... not one of them at a bedside. They were chatting about their private life. No sortage of staff there!!!!!!!
Gillie. I think Jimmys take on this starts from the a position of "Its all the Tories fault" and develops from there. He is so shortsighted, should have gone to Specsavers
You bunch of clowns. Labour were complicate in the privatisation of the nhs- they got the ball rolling. You people need to realize that they are two faces to the same coin. Its theatre, an act there is no difference, just one tastes slightly sweeter than the other to give you the illusion of choice. They both want the nhs in the hands of their chums. Labour are worse then the tories. With the tories at least they are open and upfront about how nasty they are- labour are the passive aggressive ones like a snake in the grass.
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I am an expat living in France and I would say the french health service is probably the best in the world. If I need to see my GP it will always be the same day! The drugs we are given are always the most up to date in the world and not generic copies. If I need a referal to a specialist it will probably be within a week. I have spent time in hospital and it was immaculately clean.But i do pay a top up insurance of 20euros a week. I get some of it back from prescription charges.I do not pay to go into hospital.I think that the extra I pay is well worth it. Perhaps the NHS needs financial imput from those who use it and this could come from those who can afford it. By the way i am a pensioner on £140 per week but I never complain about paying my extra insurance.
French health service the best in the world ! Careful Carol that is heresy to the rose tinted specs brigade where the NHS is concerned
Yes the French give their citizens the latest in medicine. That's why they had to recall 30,000 to have their breast implants removed and just last week they pulled yet another drug of the shelves that was for the purpose of contraception which is being used by over 300,000 women and has left 1000 of them dead. Use see- u get the latest because you are the unsuspecting guinea pigs.
Thumbs down but its true :D
Did not take long for the Tory/Lib Dems to undermine the N.H.S. putting accountants in charge of hospital Trusts ,considering what accountants have done to the Banking service it is a bad move.The Tories main object is to privatize the health service just like America where people go bankrupt just paying their medical bills.loosing everything they own.
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.
The NHS is just typical of today's organisations. As soon as you request something from an employee chances are the first reply you'll get is "Sorry it's not in my job description'. Should the matter be taken further then the Trade Unions weald the big hammer. It's a no win situation for the public. Some people will not go that extra mile without more money. Whatever happened to 'Esprit de Corps'.
Don't forget who sets the targets that the management feel compelled to follow. Politicians. They also need to be held to account. They set the targets and punish those who fail to achieve them. Same in education. Targets before patients...targets before children.
The myth that nurses sit in a line yapping about last nights EastEnders. What should they do at visiting time . As I visited my dying sister any time trough the day over a few weeks the care was the best any country could provide ,nurses although very busy (understaffed ) always there with politeness and professionalism. When visiting time came nurses usually stayed back out of the way.
thank you happy mike chester, people want to come out of visiting.to see how hard nurses work. why cant we chat like other people do in their places of work. overseas nurses cant believe how little relatives do for their ill ones in hospital. and please everyone google end of life pathways.
It is beyond doubt that, as within all professions, there are fantastic nurses in the nursing profession. We have a particularly dreadful hospital here where I have seen some do very little over a long period of time. Unfortunately, this sort of thing will undermine the good work done by the likes of you and many others, Andrea.
movvi nurses everywhere work so hard. im so disallusioned, ive been a nurse for 30 years, wonderful career, but with all.the bad press im looking forward to retirement and trouble is nurses are leaving in.their.droves. it is not a glamorous career, its hard work but im so glad ive done it