Intended for healthcare professionals


Relatives demand answers on care at Mid Staffordshire

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 02 February 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c656
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    Relatives of patients who died or suffered poor care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust handed over their evidence to officials at the office of the health minister, Andy Burnham, in London on Tuesday 2 February.

    The group, who call themselves Cure the NHS, also met with the Conservative shadow health minister, Stephen O’Brien, who has promised a full public inquiry into events at the trust should the Conservatives win the next general election.

    Robert Francis QC is expected to deliver a report of his inquiry, commissioned by the government, to Mr Burnham on Friday 5 February and place a copy of the report in the House of Commons library “in due course.”

    Last March the then health services watchdog, the Healthcare Commission, found high death rates at Stafford Hospital over the three years to March 2008, with at least 400 more patients dying than would have been expected in an average hospital with a similar case mix (BMJ 2009;338:b1141, doi:10.1136/bmj.b1141).

    Julie Bailey, founder of Cure the NHS, said, “We’re protesting, and we will carry on protesting, because we’ve known right from the start that this inquiry would be a whitewash to protect the government. So it has proved, and we remain convinced that the only way to get to the full truth about the disaster at Stafford Hospital will be through a full public inquiry under the 2005 Inquiries Act, with witnesses compelled to attend and be cross examined under oath. Many questions remain unasked and unanswered.”

    Among the questions the group would like answered are why the number of deaths caused by incompetent care at Stafford Hospital has never been established and why Mr Burnham approved the hospital for the next stage of its foundation trust application in 2007.


    Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c656

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