Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 17:11 UK

Hospital inquiry boss seeks views

Stafford Hospital
The five drop-in sessions are being held in Stafford and Cannock

Former patients and family members are being urged to come forward and share their experiences of Stafford Hospital as part of an inquiry.

Robert Francis QC, who is chairing the independent inquiry into the failings there, is holding a series of drop-in sessions between 13 and 30 October.

The inquiry was set up following a damning report in March by the Healthcare Commission.

However, relatives of patients who died said it should not be held in private.

Last month, a solicitor representing campaigners said the inquiry was a "a narrow, private process".

Different experiences

The Healthcare Commission report said "appalling" emergency care had led to patients "dying needlessly".

It also condemned the local NHS trust for allowing unqualified staff to carry out checks on patients.

Mr Francis said the inquiry had to be held in private because much of the material he would have to consider would be sensitive and confidential medical information.

The five drop-in sessions will be held at centres in Stafford and Cannock.

Mr Francis said he wanted to hear from people who had a wide range of different experiences at the hospital.

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