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Mid Staffs

Knighthoods for Blakemore and Francis

Professor Colin Blakemore image
Sir Colin Blakemore

Two key figures in healthcare research and reform received knighthoods in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Professor Colin Blakemore, former head of the Medical Research Council (MRC), and Robert Francis QC, who led the Mid Staffs inquiry, were both given the gongs for their professional activities.

NHS staff face prison

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Credit: Flickr/comedy_nose

The government is to create a new statutory criminal offence of ill-treatment or wilful neglect of patients, which could see offenders being fined £5,000 or jailed for five years, or both. 

Likely to become law next year, the move comes in the wake of the scandal at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust where patients were ‘routinely neglected’. 

NHS Confederation: ‘ring-fence NHS funding’

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The boss of the NHS Confederation has challenged political parties to ring-fence NHS funding for the next ten years.

Rob Webster also wants £2 billion per year to be invested in developing new sustainable models of integrated care, while he also said there needs to be a ‘rebalancing’ of the way physical and mental health are viewed.

Robert Francis QC joins Care Quality Commission

Robert Francis QC
Robert Francis QC

Robert Francis QC is to join health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as a non-executive director. 

Francis will be joining along with Paul Rew who will hold the same title at the CQC, that makes sure hospitals, GP surgeries and all other health services in England provide people with safe and high quality care. 

UK government launches ‘Sign up to Safety’ initiative

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A new ambition to reduce avoidable harm in the NHS by half over the next three years, cut costs and save up to 6,000 lives has been outlined by the health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

In a speech at Virginia Mason Hospital in the US city of Seattle, the secretary of state for health announced details of how NHS organisations can work together to improve patient safety and save money.

Mid Staffs to be ‘dissolved’

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The scandal-hit Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust is to be dissolved, after health secretary Jeremy Hunt accepted the recommendation of investigators who looked at the best way forward.

He told the House of Commons that Stafford Hospital and Cannock Chase Hospital will be operated by other local providers - and that some services will be moved to different hospitals.

“It is vital that this structural change is made as soon as possible to stabilise local health services,” Hunt said, following the Trust Special Administrators’ (TSAs) report.

Treat patients ‘more holistically’

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UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt has spoken of the challenges faced by the NHS in a New Year message to staff - and chief among these is the need “to find ways to treat patients more holistically”, he says.

The health secretary focusses on the professionalism of NHS ambulance services, highlighting their work during the Christmas floods and power failures, as well as their part in treating theatregoers in London when part of the ceiling of the Apollo Theatre collapsed.

Francis report author becomes Patients Association president

Robert Francis QC

The author of a damning report into failings at the Staffordshire hospital has become the new president of the Patients Association.

Robert Francis QC will assume the post immediately, which has been intentionally vacant since the death of former president Claire Rayner.

NHS responds to Mid Staffs

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The government has accepted 281 out of the 290 recommendations contained in the Francis report - the damning document published by Robert Francis QC following the public inquiry into the failings of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

The NHS will become “more open, more accountable and more focussed on safety and compassion”, the government insists in its response to Francis.

NHS England poaches new CEO from private sector

Simon Stevens
Simon Stevens will become the new chief executive of NHS England next year
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