One year since Stafford Hospital Francis report published

Robert Francis QC, the man who led the inquiry into Mid Staffs, has said that NHS staff must understand that criticism of "poor and unacceptable practice" is not aimed at them but is "part of a struggle to support everything they stand for."

Mr Francis also said the vast majority of NHS staff are "consistently hard-working, conscientious and compassionate."

Robert Francis QC giving his statement following his Mid Staffs recommendations Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

He was commenting as a new report from the Nuffield Trust reveals the response of NHS trusts to his key recommendations.

His report into Mid Staffs was published exactly a year ago. It contained almost 300 recommendations for action to prevent another scandal like the one at Stafford Hospital, where hundreds of patients died needlessly between 2005 and 2009.

Stafford Hospital Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

In November, the government's response to the inquiry accepted most of the recommendations.

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said the NHS in England has "changed for the better" in the year since the Francis Inquiry.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt Credit: Neil Hall/PA Wire