Page last updated at 04:25 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Review starts at failing hospital

Sir Ian Kennedy
This is a story of appalling standards of care and chaotic systems
Sir Ian Kennedy
Healthcare Commission

The hospital branded "appalling" for the state of its emergency care is being visited by the expert charged with reviewing its care levels.

Professor Sir George Alberti, National Clinical Director for Emergency Access, is to carry out an independent review of Stafford Hospital and its trust.

Over three years 400 more deaths were recorded than expected at the hospital.

But the families of many of those who died there are continuing to call for a full public inquiry.

The Healthcare Commission report identified "appalling failings" which included receptionists carrying out initial patient checks.

Managers were said to be obsessed with targets to the detriment of patient care.

It also highlighted low staffing levels, inadequate nursing, lack of equipment, lack of leadership, poor training and ineffective systems for identifying when things went wrong.

Commission chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said there could be no doubt that patients had suffered and "some of them will have died as a result".

"This is a story of appalling standards of care and chaotic systems for looking after patients," he said.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said a review of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, would focus on the years 2002 to 2007.

Sir George has been tasked with carrying out the review of the trust's emergency care.

The Patients Association and Cure the NHS have launched a petition calling for a public inquiry, on top of the government-commissioned one.

The Law Society has also said a public inquiry could be ordered.

Trust chairman Toni Brisby resigned on 3 March, but chief executive Martin Yeates remains suspended on full pay.



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SEE ALSO
Calls for death hospital inquiry
22 Mar 09 |  Staffordshire
Hospital may see 'public inquiry'
19 Mar 09 |  Staffordshire
Failing hospital 'caused deaths'
17 Mar 09 |  Staffordshire
Relatives' reactions to report
17 Mar 09 |  Health
Support call over hospital probe
04 Mar 09 |  Staffordshire

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