The Government has issued its initial response to the Francis Report of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry. It sets out a five point plan intended to herald an end to failure and a call for excellence. This article gives a summary of what the plan will cover.
The Government has issued its initial response to the Francis Report of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry. It sets out a five point plan intended to herald an end to failure and a call for excellence. In summary, the plan covers the following:
The Government’s response draws extensively on existing initiatives, both statutory and non-statutory, many of which were in place before the Francis report was published, but the Francis report has provided impetus and focus to otherwise fragmented reforms.
Patient associations have given the new proposals mixed reports. They accept it moves patient safety forwards but perhaps not far enough. A co-ordinated statement on improving the quality of staff was welcomed by the Royal College of Nursing after Jeremy Hunt announced that reviews by the Chief Inspector of Hospitals are likely to lead to increased nurses on wards. The main things missing relate to criminal accountability for individuals, but we may yet see some of this this introduced following a review by Don Berwick. The GMC and NMC are reviewing their models of professional regulation against the additional backdrop of a Law Commission review of professional regulation.
Although it has been given little press coverage, it will be of immediate and medium term interest is the renewed call for NHS Trusts to set out how they intend to respond to the Inquiry’s conclusions by the end of the year, and then report on progress each year subsequently.
It is important to note that this has been titled the Government's 'initial' response, indicating there will be a further response or responses in due course following much professional and public consultation. For an 'initial' response, there is plenty here to indicate real changes.
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