Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 12:46 UK

Patient care tops hospital pledge

Stafford Hospital
Progress at Stafford Hospital will be reviewed in August

Managers at a hospital which was criticised for "appalling failings" have pledged to spend millions of pounds improving patient care.

Stafford Hospital outlined planned improvements in areas such as staffing levels, facilities and equipment as part of its Confidence in Care plan.

It follows recommendations by health experts and the former regulator.

The Healthcare Commission had reported that patients died needlessly at the hospital between 2005 and 2008.

It said the death rate during those three years was much higher than expected with the hospital seeing an extra 400 deaths than the average for the health service.

'Patient safety'

A follow-up government review earlier this year said care was now safe, but problems still existed over staffing and equipment.

In response, Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust has set out its future goals in seven key areas.

These include reviewing clinical staffing levels, increasing the involvement of the public and patients in the trust's "transformation" as well as establishing procedures to ensure it was meeting high expectations and was accountable through regular reviews.

Eric Morton, interim chief executive of the trust, said: "Our top priorities must be the safety and experience of every single patient who comes through our doors, and the effectiveness of the care we offer."

The trust said most of its 107 improvement goals would be achieved within eight months.

The Care Quality Commission, which replaced the Healthcare Commission, is to review progress made at the hospital in August.

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