Turn doctors and nurses into hospital inspectors to avoid more unnecessary deaths, says report into scandal-hit NHS trust
Long-awaited public inquiry into the scandal-hit Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust to be published next weekUp to 1,200 patients may have died needlessly
Crackdown after such serious failings occurred despite various regulatory bodies being in place
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Up to 1,200 patients may have died needlessly over a four-year period at Stafford Hospital, where patients were found to have been treated 'appallingly'
The 11million inquiry, led by Robert Francis QC, is examining
what went wrong at the trust between January 2005 and March 2009.
400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected over that period, the Commission said.
Mr Francis' first report in 2010 found there was often 'shocking' care at Stafford hospital.
Many patients were 'neglected', with
calls for help to use the bathroom ignored, food and drink left out of
patients' reach, pain relief administered late or not at all, 'awful'
hygiene, and much more.
Some staff showed 'a disturbing lack of compassion', while 'fear and bullying' dissuaded others from flagging up their concerns.
The long-awaited inquiry by Robert Francis QC (pictured) is expected to recommend a new army of hospital inspectors
Doctors were diverted from critically
ill patients to deal with less serious cases that were at risk of
breaching a central target to discharge all patients from Accident &
Emergency units within four hours.
Vulnerable patients were left so thirsty that they were forced to drink water out of flower vases; others were left starving and
in soiled bedsheets.
Last month, the scandal-hit hospital
paid out more than 1million in
compensation for 'inhumane and degrading' treatment.
The new army of inspectors is thought to be in response to the fact that such serious failings occurred despite there being various regulatory bodies in place.
Huge questions remain over how such appalling standards of care continued for so long and why the relevant authorities did not intervene.
Francis is expected to call for hospitals to undergo more regular and thorough inspections.
A key move will be to get more experts with clinical experience, such as doctors and nurses, to join the
955 inspectors currently used by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in NHS
Many of the current inspectors are thought to have a background in care homes and social work rather than the NHS.
In future, Monitor, which regulates NHS trusts, will be expected to share concerns about financial problems so the CQC can check if patient care is being affected.
And to tackle problems earlier, a recommendation will be made that the CQC's use of intelligence about hospital care is bolstered, using information from patient complaints, media reports and the results of clinical audits.