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Robert Francis QC joins Care Quality Commission

Published on 04/06/14 at 03:16pm
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. 

Speaking on his appointment Francis says: “I hope to make a positive contribution to the work of CQC, supporting its current direction of travel and representing its work and its continuing development as a role model of transparency and openness.”

Medical lawyer Francis, who is also the president of the Patients Association, wrote two reports and led an independent inquiry into the crisis-hit Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust hospital, following incidents of appalling patient care. 

Francis said patients were ‘routinely neglected’, with hundreds dying, many of whom were not cleaned properly or given medicines, food and drink. 

The Healthcare Commission had revealed that between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected at the trust, between April 2005 and March 2008. Francis made 290 recommendations in all to help change the NHS culture to ensure this doesn’t happen again. 

The hospital is set to be dissolved, after health secretary Jeremy Hunt accepted the recommendation of investigators who looked at the best way forward. Although just last week the Staffordshire Newsletter reported that a last-ditch bid to stop this has been launched by Stafford’s Labour prospective parilamentary candidate.

On the CQC and Mid Staffs, Francis adds: “The CQC has a vital contribution to make towards people getting safe, compassionate and effective care. I am pleased to see that many of the recommendations I made in my reports on Mid Staffordshire for cultural change in the healthcare system and the CQC itself are being adopted.” 

David Prior, chairman of the Care Quality Commission says: “The appointment of Robert Francis makes a very clear statement – the interests of patients, all those who receive care and their relatives will be at the heart of everything that CQC does.”

Francis and Rew are to replace Steve Hitchins and John Harwood, who stood down from CQC’s board in December 2013 and March 2014 respectively. 

Brett Wells

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