UK & World News
Stafford Hospital Victims' Families Urge Reform
Relatives of Stafford Hospital victims have told Sky News they hope NHS staff will be more accountable after the publication of a new report.
The £11m report, to be published later this month, was prompted by the unnecessary deaths of up to 1,200 patients at Stafford between 2005 and 2008.
An independent inquiry published three years ago highlighted systemic failures in delivering basic elements of care.
The recommendations due this month back up those put forward in the 2010 inquiry.
According to the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph, recommendations include closing or fining hospitals that fail to meet certain standards, along with improved nurse and healthcare assistant training.
More power is also expected to be given for patients' groups to hold hospitals to account.
Julie Bailey, who founded Cure The NHS after her mother Bella died at Stafford Hospital after being admitted with a hernia, said there needs to be a culture change.
"We've got regulations for doctors and nurses and it didn't make a blind bit of difference, to be honest," she told Sky News.
"But the fact that managers were allowed to cut staff to the bare bones and then be allowed to walk away - even in some cases promoted.
"We welcome the introduction of some sort of accountability. But is it bringing accountability to the NHS?
"How can we have the worst report in the history of the NHS and to date no body has been held to account for those failings?"
Deb Hazeldine, who lost her mother Ellen after she was admitted to Stafford for physiotherapy, said she died after catching a so-called superbug.
During her care Ellen was refused painkillers and it was only after her death that Ms Hazeldine discovered she had fractured ribs and spine from two preventable falls.
"They need to be held accountable. No one has been held accountable," she said.
"The only thing that will give me peace is if we can see that people are safe going into hospitals. Our current complaints system is not fit for purpose."
She also described the distress it has caused following the death of her mother.
"It haunts my waking hours as well as my sleeping hours.
"I saw other people in distress other people without pain relief other people without water," Ms Hazeldine said.
"I tried to help other people as much as I could ... Nobody should have to suffer in the way that those people did."
The Department of Health would not comment on the possible recommendations, saying they were just newspaper speculation.