The latest public inquiry into the events involving “appalling” treatment and care of patients at Stafford hospital has opened and will concentrate on the many failings of NHS procedures for guaranteeing scrutiny, accountability and safety.
The Inquiry Chair is Robert Francis QC who also chaired the first Stafford Inquiry last year. In his opening remarks concerning the latest Inquiry Francis said: "Last year, in my first inquiry, I sat and listened to many stories of appalling care. As I did so, the questions that went constantly through my mind were: why did none of the many organisations charged with the supervision and regulation of our hospitals detect that something so serious was going on, and why was nothing done about it? That question was one which many patients and their families – and, it is fair to say, healthcare professionals as well – wanted to be answered."
According to the Guardian (11 November 2010), he further said "I must look at why the system of NHS management and regulation external to the trust did not detect or act on the deficiencies before the intervention of the HCC [Healthcare Commission] in 2008-9. There was clearly cause for concern before that action was taken……………..At a time of change in the NHS, it is essential that the lessons to be learned from the Stafford disaster are incorporated into its governance.”
Read the Guardian new article here.