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Stafford Hospital failings inquiry – expert comment
Today, the inquiry into the catastrophic failings at Stafford Hospital, where hundreds more people died than would be expected between 2005 and 2008, comes to an end. The inquiry began over a year ago and has heard evidence from 181 witnesses, to enable chair Robert Francis QC, to draw up the recommendations to be published next year. A Healthcare Commission report has already found that managers at the hospital failed to recognise and deal with problems quickly enough after being distracted by targets and cost-cutting.
Eddie Jones, head of the medical negligence department at law firm JMW, gives his expert comment:
“The case of Stafford Hospital is a truly shocking one, and examples of hospital failings of such severity are thankfully rare. That said, our clinical negligence team continues to see case after case of patients, whose hospital care has been so substandard that it has resulted in life-changing conditions, or even death.
“The NHS must ensure that it is meeting its obligations to patient safety and that the importance of this is communicated to medical staff at every level. While the health service is coming under increasing pressure from budget cuts and a rising population, there must be strategies in place to ensure that it can deal with this pressure, without it leading to unnecessary patient injury and death.
“We hope that the NHS will learn crucial lessons from the inquiry, to ensure that another Stafford Hospital never happens. The NHS must pay careful heed to the recommendations that are made by Robert Francis QC, so that it can become safer and the risk of patients dying unnecessarily is kept to a minimum across all NHS trusts.”
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Note to Editors
JMW Solicitors LLP is a leading Manchester law firm and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients.
JMW’s Clinical Negligence team is headed up by leading clinical negligence lawyer, Eddie Jones. For more than a decade he and his team have advised and represented thousands of victims of clinical negligence, and their relatives, and have obtained over £70 million in compensation for their clients, as well as providing the answers as to why their medical treatment has gone wrong.