Feb 6 2013
David Cameron has announced the creation of a Chief Inspector of Hospitals and apologised for Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust's "truly dreadful" mistreatment and neglect.
His move followed the publication of the Francis report into events at the trust between 2005 and 2009, which called for a "zero tolerance" approach to poor standards in the health system.
Speaking in the Commons after the 1,782-page report was released, Mr Cameron announced a raft of changes designed to ensure that any future failures in NHS organisations are detected and dealt with quickly and effectively.
Robert Francis QC, chairman of the public inquiry, refused to point the finger at any organisation or individual connected to the shocking failure at the trust, instead blaming an "insidious negative culture", but families of those who suffered in the care failings at Stafford Hospital called for senior NHS figures to resign.
Julie Bailey, who set up campaign group Cure The NHS after her mother, Bella Bailey, 86, died at the scandal-hit hospital in 2007, said the report gave patients "power" but called for the resignation of NHS chief Sir David Nicholson, as well as Royal College of Nursing chief executive Peter Carter.
She said: "We want resignations, we are going nowhere. We have lost hundreds of lives within the NHS, we want accountability."
Responding to the report, the Prime Minister announced a raft of changes to the NHS, telling the Commons he had ordered the creation of the post of Chief Inspector of Hospitals, who will have responsibility for a regime of inspections which are an investigation into "whether a hospital is clean, safe and caring, rather than just an exercise in bureaucratic box-ticking".
An immediate investigation will be carried out by Sir Bruce Keogh into the standards of care at hospitals which currently have the highest mortality rates, he said.
Patients and their relatives will be invited to say whether they would recommend treatment at their hospital to their friends and families, and the results will be published.
Changes will also be made to the failure regime for NHS trusts, to ensure that the suspension of a board can be triggered by failures in care, and not just financial failings as at present, said Mr Cameron.