Francis Report to publish NHS recommendations today
Published on 06 February 2013 12:00 AM
A major inquiry into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust is set to publish its recommendations on Wednesday.
The Francis Report, chaired by Robert Francis QC, is expected to recommend sweeping reform and comes almost 4 years after an initial Healthcare Commission report exposed how patients and families had been failed by the Mid Staffordshire Foundation NHS Trust.
In the wake of the original Healthcare Commission report, Age UK acted to set up the Dignity in Care Commission, with the NHS Confederation and the Local Government Association.
The Commission has since sought to understand why poor care persists and to put forward the best solutions.
Read Age UK's response to the Francis Report
Not a one-off case
The Francis Report is expected to put forward recommendations not just directed at the Mid Staffordshire trust, but also the entire healthcare sector.
'Few in the health sector could claim that this was an isolated case,' said Diane Jeffrey, Age UK Chair and joint Chair of the Dignity in Care Commission.
'What happened in the Mid-Staffordshire Foundation Trust was an extreme example of when training, professionalism, management, and structures all individually and collectively failed, but there is grave danger in viewing the Trust's failing as unique.'
The Chief Executive of the NHS, David Nicholson, recently admitted that 'hospitals are very bad places for old, frail people', while the Care Quality Commission put out a statement saying that it had found 17 hospitals that had unsafe staffing levels.
What happens next?
Once the report's findings are published, all eyes will turn to the Government, to see how it responds.
This problem is so serious that it demands strong political and professional leadership and a comprehensive plan of action to transform culture and practice, as well as policy and systems.
'There must be true accountability and consequences for what happened,' said Diane Jeffrey. 'Without that, what hope can we have for the future of the NHS and social care system?'
Tell the Health Minister we need Dignity in Care