Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

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The Francis report into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was published last week and is available online.

The Stafford Hospital scandal became public in 2009 when the Healthcare Commission published a report investigating much  higher mortality in emergency patients admitted to Stafford Hospital  than  the national average. The Healthcare Commission report identified significant operational failures. The Healthcare Commission national recommendations focused on the need to ensure accurate recording of clinical data so that similar failures would become apparent more quickly.

The Francis inquiry was set-up by the government in 2010 to address the wider issues and take evidence in public. The inquiry report makes 290 recommendations. The majority of the recommendations address the institutional environment of healthcare governance, in particular the roles of the Care Quality Commission, NICE and MONITOR, the regulator of Foundation Trusts, and clarifying responsibility.

The two summary reports read together provide an interesting insight into repsonses to major operational failure, with the first report aiming to rectify the particular failings in the case being reviewed and the second public inquiry report addressing the systemic failures which allowed the failures to occur and go unnoticed for so long.

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