Stafford Hospital: The latest

The very latest on the inquiry into standards of care at Stafford Hospital, where hundreds of patients died needlessly between 2005 and 2009.

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Stafford Hospital to be visited by new Chief Inspector of Hospitals

Professor Sir Mike Richards will visit Stafford Hospital today Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Stafford Hospital is to be visited by the new Chief Inspector of Hospitals today to see improvements made since it emerged hundreds of patients died there needlessly due to poor standards of care.

Professor Sir Mike Richards will also talk to staff about their experiences.

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Healthcare assistants 'doing job of medical staff'

Some healthcare assistants are doing jobs which should be done by doctors or nurses without formal training, a review into the profession has found. A review into the profession, initiated after the Stafford Hospital scandal, said the responsibilities of care assistants has become confused:

Healthcare assistants have no compulsory or consistent training, and a profusion of job titles.

Some HCAs are now doing jobs that used to be the preserve of nurses, even doctors.

The review met a group of healthcare assistants from a busy A&E who are inserting IV drips, taking blood and plastering. Yet they are paid at three levels below a newly qualified nurse.

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50,000 sign petition to save Stafford Hospital

A petition to save Stafford Hospital, which has been signed by more than 50,000 people, is to be presented at the House of Commons later today.

The Trust which runs the hospital is currently in administration.

Earlier this year, health care regulator - Monitor - called for Stafford's Accident and Emergency department to be closed down.

More than 50,000 people have signed the petition to save the hospital Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Chairman of Stafford inquiry calls for criminal sanctions against those who cause serious harm to patients

The man who refused to hold one person accountable for the deaths at Stafford Hospital has said today that individuals who cause serious harm to patients should face criminal sanctions.

Robert Francis QC, the Chairman of the public inquiry into the serious failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust now says that public confidence in the health service would 'evaporate' unless the change is made.

But speaking when the Stafford Report came out, he defended the decision not to name names saying his was an inquiry not a court of law.

Health experts called in to Black Country hospital

A team of health experts has been called in to a Black Country hospital following a higher number of patient deaths than expected. It is part of what's known as The Keogh Review - aimed at preventing future scandals like the one at Stafford Hospital.

A further 13 hospital trusts across the UK are to get similar inspections - followed up by unannounced visits. Watch Keith Wilkinson's report.

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Health experts begin review of services at Dudley Group NHS Trust

A team of health experts has started a review of services at a Midlands hospital trust with higher than expected patient deaths.

The team began its work this morning at the Dudley Group NHS Trust.

They have been called in by the medical director of the health service, Sir Bruce Keogh. A number of hospitals are to have visits in the wake of the scandal at Stafford, where hundreds of people were said to have died needlessly.

Ruth May, Regional Chief Nurse, has told ITV News Central that 14 hospitals have been identified as having excess deaths over the last two years.

NHS team to visit Dudley as part of Keogh review

Credit: PA

A team of doctors, nurses and patient representatives will visit the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust today as part of a review into higher-than expected death rates.

The review, led by NHS England's medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, will look at the 14 NHS trusts found to have higher mortality rates over the last two years.

It comes in the wake of the scandal at Stafford Hospital where hundreds of people were said to have died needlessly.

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