Live updates

Patient safety to be assessed at Stafford Hospital

Patient safety is to be assessed at Stafford Hospital following staff shortages Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Health inspectors will be assessing the safety of patients at Stafford Hospital later because of staff shortages.

The special administrators running the Hospital Trust say recruiting and keeping staff has become a "significant challenge".

They've asked the Care Quality Commission to review patient safety.

  1. National

Hunt 'very proud' of new NHS safety measures

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has told ITV News he is "very proud" that NHS hospitals are now publishing staffing levels in every ward on a monthly basis.

A new web page allows patients to hold their local hospital to account by looking at performance indicators.

The measure also means from next year patients will be able to compare staffing levels at different hospitals.

Mr Hunt said publishing more safety data was an "absolutely critical learning point" for the health service following the scandal involving Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.


Stafford Hospital whistleblower made OBE

Helene Donnelly is being made an OBE tomorrow Credit: ITV News Central

Helene Donnelly, the nurse who blew the whistle on the abuse of patients at Stafford Hospital is being made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) at Buckingham Palace tomorrow.

It is in recognition of her work supporting NHS staff to raise concerns and improve care for patients.

She is now the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust’s first Ambassador for Cultural Change. The idea is that she works to encourage staff to raise their concerns at a senior level.

On hearing of her OBE she said: "My first reaction was disbelief really, I thought why me? I suppose I don’t feel I’ve really done anything that remarkable.

I’m absolutely delighted and really this honour is a recognition for everyone who is trying to genuinely raise concerns and build a more open and honest culture within the health service.

I’m really looking forward to the ceremony and am tremendously honoured.”

Second inquest into Leicestershire man's death

John Moore-Robinson from Coalville was misdiagnosed at Stafford hospital Credit: ITV News Central

A second inquest into the death of a man who was misdiagnosed by hospital staff will be held in Leicester today.

John Moore-Robinson, from Coalville, died eight years ago after medics at Stafford Hospital failed to diagnose a ruptured spleen.

They thought his ribs were bruised and sent him home, the 20-year-old died hours later.

NHS whistle-blower Julie Bailey to receive CBE today

Julie Bailed founded group Cure The NHS Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

NHS whistle-blower Julie Bailey who worked to expose the maltreatment of patients at Stafford hospital will be honoured by the Queen and made a CBE.

Ms Bailey founded the campaign group Cure The NHS after being appalled by the care given to her mother at the hospital before she died.

Investigations revealed poor care may have led to the deaths of hundreds of patients.

  1. National

Hunt: Mid Staffs 'a turning point like Chernobyl'

Jeremy Hunt has compared the Mid Staffs scandal to Chernobyl and the Bhopal gas disaster in an interview with ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener.

The Health Secretary said the accidents - both of which killed thousands and left many more injured - were "turning points" for their industries.

He said he hoped Mid Staffs would mark a similar change in the NHS.

Asked if similar negligence extended across the system, Mr Hunt said front-line staff have warned that "Mid Staffs wasn't just something that happened in one hospital".


  1. National

RCM: Patient safety 'about the right numbers of staff'

NHS patients are best protected when wards have the right number of staff working, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has warned.

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of midwives, initially praised Jeremy Hunt's plans to make the NHS safer, but raised concerns over low staff numbers and lack of protection for whistleblowers.

I worry that I have heard this before from Governments without any real progress being made.

Safety is about having the right numbers of staff and high-performing teams working together to deliver the best care, and this is crucial if we are to deliver safe maternity care.

Safety also needs NHS staff being treated properly with trusts promoting open, honest and caring cultures if they are to get the best out of them; you can only have candour if staff feel their concerns will be listened to, they are treated with compassion and that they will be given the support they need.

– Cathy Warwick
  1. National

Hunt: Mid-Staffs must be 'a turning point' in NHS culture

The Mid-Staffs scandal, in which appalling conditions lead to hundreds of patients dying prematurely, should be "a turning point" in NHS culture, Jeremy Hunt has said.

In a speech at the Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, the Health Secretary outlined plans to create a "more open, compassionate and transparent culture" in the health service.

It is my clear ambition that the NHS should become the safest healthcare system anywhere in the world.

I want the tragic events of Mid Staffs to become a turning point in the creation of a more open, compassionate and transparent culture within the NHS.

We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to save lives and prevent avoidable harm - which will empower staff and save money that can be reinvested in patient care.

Hospitals are already 'signing up to safety' as part of this new movement - and I hope all NHS organisations will soon join them.

– Jeremy Hunt
  1. National

Hunt announces review of NHS safety thresholds

The point at which hospitals have to tell a patient they have been harmed will be reviewed by the Government as part of an updated "duty of candour" for the NHS, the Health Secretary has announced.

Under the plans patients can check safety records on the "How Safe is my Hospital" section of the NHS website from June. Credit: PA

Speaking at the Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, Jeremy Hunt outlined plans to revise the legal threshold at which hospitals have to inform patients and suggested those at the lower end of the scale would not be told.

The Government caused outrage last November when it said the duty of candour should mean patients and families are only told of harm if it results in death or severe disability.

However, in his speech, Mr Hunt outlined plans aimed at reducing the £1.3 billion the NHS annually spends on litigation and saving 6,000 lives over the next three years.

He said NHS organisations will be invited to "sign up to safety" and set out publicly their ambitious plans for reducing avoidable harm, such as medication errors, blood clots and bed sores.

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. 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.

Load more updates