Live updates

NHS boss 'bitterly regrets' avoiding Mid-Staffs families

The man in charge of the NHS in the West Midlands when the Mid-Staffs scandal unfolded has admitted he "bitterly regrets" not speaking to families and patients who were affected.

Sir David Nicholson was chief executive of the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority, which oversaw the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust during the period when death rates were unusually high.

He went on to become the chief executive of NHS England - and with his retirement just 27 days away, he today said not talking to campaigners was his "biggest mistake" during 36 years of working in the service.

Sir David Nicholson, giving evidence to a Commons committee on serious failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust last year.
Sir David Nicholson, giving evidence to a Commons committee on serious failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust last year. Credit: PA

Speaking at a health care conference in Manchester, he said he avoided speaking to those affected so as not to become embroiled in a "media circus".

The biggest and most obvious mistake that I made was when the Health Care Commission reported on Mid Staffordshire and I went to the hospital, and I didn't seek out the patients representatives and the people who were in Cure The NHS.

I didn't do it because I made the wrong call.

At the time Andy Burnham had been out and it had been turned into a media circus, and I judged I didn't want to be involved in a media circus and I was wrong, I was absolutely wrong.

Because one of the things I learned, and I have determinedly done it since then, is that there is no shortcut to understanding and talking to patients and relatives and people.

That was a mistake that I made that I bitterly, bitterly regret.

Stafford health campaigners begin fight for representation

Health campaigners in Stafford are starting the fight to get representation on the board of the new hospital trust, after the Mid Staffordshire NHS trust was dissolved by the Health Secretary yesterday.

The move will see some key health services moved to other hospitals.

Mid Staffs NHS trust was dissolved yesterday by the Health Secretary Credit: ITV News Central

They have also taken heart from the suggestion that consultant led maternity care could remain in the town and see it as "a start" in the battle to retain other services.

Read: Scandal-hit Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust to be dissolved

Advertisement

Proposed changes pose a "serious threat to life" say campaigners

Campaigners trying to safeguard services at Stafford Hospital say they are concerned that consultant-led paediatrics will not be reviewed in the way consultant-led maternity services will be and say the full needs of the community "must be met."

"Our community has campaigned tirelessly for both these services on the grounds of safety and feel that the proposed changes, which have not been risk assessed, pose a serious threat to life. We are also still concerned over what level of critical care and 24hr A&E provision will be delivered at Stafford Hospital.

– Support Stafford Hospital

The group say 50,000 people marched to show their support for acute services at Stafford Hospital last April and they gathered more than 56,000 signatures supporting them.

They say they are also concerned over what level of critical care and 24hr A&E provision will be delivered at the hospital.

Looking forward from today, we must ensure that the needs of this community are fully met. It is essential that we have just representation at Board level and local, quality, safe acute services.

– Support Stafford Hospital

Council says partners must now "pull together" to deliver the best NHS service for Staffordshire

by Lorna Prichard

Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council. Staffordshire County Council said the "terrible suffering" many endured at the hands of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust should never be forgotten, but it was now "absolutely crucial" to deliver the best service to people in Staffordshire.

Mr Atkins said: “While we shouldn’t ever draw a line under the Francis findings or forget the terrible suffering so many endured, I hope that together with our partners and crucially patients and their families, we can deliver an integrated health and social care service we can all be proud of.”

“While this will undoubtedly be a bitter blow for campaigners, it is also an opportunity to show how the county can now lead the way in demonstrating how integrated hospital and community care can be both delivered safely and meet the highest standards.

“The trust as it stood, was both financially and clinically unstable, and as a county council we have always recognised the difficult challenge facing the Trust Special Administrators, and I think they have acknowledged this too.

– Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council

The council leader added there were still "significant concerns" over Staffordshire's "financial fragility" and the wider impact this decision will have. But he said he was pleased the Health Secretary had commended the efforts staff had made to turn around the quality of care at the trust.

Advertisement

Review to be carried out into maternity services at Mid Staffs

Jeremy Hunt MP has agreed to dissolve the scandal-hit Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust is to be dissolved Credit: ITV News Central

Under today's announcement, Stafford Hospital could still retain consultant-led maternity services after the Health Secretary agreed for NHS England to carry out a review into the issue.

The original plan from administrators had been for maternity services to close. However, this was later amended to the creation of a midwife-led unit. Mr Hunt has now agreed for a review of that decision.

Some Mid Staffs services to move to neighbouring hospitals

The changes recommended following this independent process, supported by local doctors, will secure the safe and high quality services that the people of Stafford deserve having endured years of uncertainty and failures in care.

90 per cent of patient visits will continue locally, with a minority of services eventually being moved to neighbouring hospitals once the local NHS is satisfied there is sufficient capacity.

I want Stafford to be a proper district hospital that continues to meet the needs of patients nearby, including for emergency care and births.

– Jeremy Hunt MP, Health Secretary
Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories