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New report calls for radical overhaul of NHS culture

Posted on 11 February 2013

Pardoes medical negligence solicitors, NHS overhaul

A new report calls for a radical overhaul of the culture within the NHS in an attempt to eradicate neglect and poor care in hospitals. The report recommends that hospital staff should have "a statutory duty of candour" to report any concerns they might have regarding the health care provided by the NHS, the Daily Telegraph informed.

The report, issued by Robert Francis QC, follows the exposure of a series of failings by the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which led to the death of 1,200 patients between 2005 and 2009, caused by "routine neglect." The document follows a two-and-a-half-year inquiry and finds that the NHS is encouraging a culture of secrecy and fear, as doctors and nurses fail to report on substandard care, hospital managers fail to ensure standards are met and regulators fail to inspect adequately.

It is expected that prime minister David Cameron will speak in parliament, outlining Whitehall's plans to reform the NHS and its ethos of care and highlighting the importance of transparency. According to the Telegraph, ministers are expected to support the recommendation of introducing a statutory duty of candour. If implemented, the duty of candour means that doctors and nurses could be prosecuted if they do not report any failings to provide adequate care.

During the investigation at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, nurses claimed that they were bullied into keeping quiet about substandard care and were forced not to report any concerns to inspectors.

Frances Letchford a former naval nurse, now a Partner at Pardoes Solicitors comments: Whilst the NHS is admirable in many ways there is no doubt that the Francis Report’s reference to  a culture where the patient was not put first is sadly too often then case.

Have you suffered as a result of sub-standard treatment or neglect?  You may be entitled to claim compensation.  We believe that victims of medical negligence deserve to be compensated for the pain and suffering caused.  For a free informal discussion in confidence, contact  Pardoes medical negligence solicitors on freephone 0800 862 0442 or click here to contact a member of our medical negligence team direct.

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