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Francis recommends fitness test for senior managers but stops short of regulation

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 07 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f856
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1BMJ

Only people who pass a new “fit and proper person” test should be allowed to become board level executives of trusts and other providers of NHS services, the public inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire scandal has recommended.

But the long awaited report by Robert Francis QC into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust—which identified a catalogue of managerial failings that led to the deaths of hundreds of patients—stops short of calling for professional regulation of NHS managers.1

Instead it proposes a new common code of ethics and conduct for NHS leaders and senior managers, which would afford regulators the power to remove or suspend senior managers from their post if they showed “serious non-compliance.”

Francis acknowledged the need to create a “level playing field,” given that the current system allowed regulators …

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