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A year on from publication of the Francis Report’s scathing conclusions on the standard of care provided by hospitals under Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced the Trust’s dissolution.
The dissolution of the Trust follows a ruling by the hospital regulator, Monitor, last year that Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was neither clinically nor financially viable. After years of concern about the level of care provided by the Trust, and the publication of two highly critical reports, the radical developments demonstrate only too clearly the far reaching costs of negligent healthcare, not only on the individuals injured, but on wider society as a whole.
The care provided at the two hospitals run by Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Stafford Hospital and Cannock Chase, has long caused concern to the recipients of that care and their loved ones. That concern can be traced back to well before the establishment of the full public inquiry into the Trust announced in June 2010 and conducted by Robert Francis QC. A first independent inquiry into the standard of care at the Trust was conducted between 2005 and 2009 and published similarly critical conclusions. That inquiry addressed individual cases of patient care with the aim of identifying wider lessons to be learnt.
The critical inquiries, particularly the later Francis Report published a year ago, triggered a public outcry over the appalling level of care provided to patients of the hospitals in question. Stories of patients left without basic nutrition or lying in their own faeces caused widespread public revulsion. The Trust was put into administration last April and now the Health Secretary has announced its dissolution.
Whilst this development has been welcomed by some, local campaigners who form part of the Support Stafford Hospital Group have expressed concern that the development means local people will have to travel further to receive vital healthcare services. However, the government has been keen to emphasise that both hospitals involved will remain open, but in future will be operated by existing NHS Trusts.
The Clinical Negligence Team acts for patients injured as a result of negligent healthcare received at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, as well as at other hospitals and healthcare providers. Cases arising as a result of clinical negligence are complex and technical, requiring highly specialist knowledge of the legal issues specific to this area of law. It is vital that the legal professional is able to fully explore the extent to which the negligence has impacted upon the patient’s life. This should include not only the affects on the individual at the time of the legal action, but also health issues which may arise in the future.
If you have concerns that you may have suffered due to negligent healthcare then please contact us for further advice and a free assessment of your claim.