Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Stafford Hospital protesters gather at inquiry end

Stafford Hospital
Later reports have said care provided by the trust has since improved

Protesters have gathered outside the final day of an inquiry into failings at Stafford Hospital.

The dozen campaigners outside the building, in Beaconside, repeated their calls for the independent inquiry to be heard in public.

The inquiry is into care provided by Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust between January 2005 and March 2008.

The Healthcare Commission has said about 400 more people died at the hospital than would be expected.

The inquiry chairman, Robert Francis QC, has said it is right to hold the inquiry in private as it is dealing with confidential information and sensitive personal issues.

But a Cure the NHS spokesman, which has campaigned for the hearing to be public, said it should be public so witnesses could be subpoenaed.

The results of the inquiry are due to be published at the end of January.

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