Cameron defends NHS boss

David Cameron has defended NHS boss Sir David Nicholson over the Francis Report findings into failings of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust. Families have put pressure on the PM to sack Sir David.

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Health Minister: 'We can't have rewards for failure'

Health Minister Norman Lamb has told ITV Daybreak that there has to be a proper process to ensure that people who fail in the health service are held to account.

He added: It was "utterly unacceptable what happened", and that we simply cannot have "rewards for failure".

The families of victims are calling for the resignation of NHS chief Sir David Nicholson, who was chief executive of the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority (WMSHA) between August 2005 and April 2006.

Read: NHS boss defiant despite calls for him to resign

Victim's father: 'Sir David Nicholson's job is untenable'

Following the publication of the Francis Report yesterday which highlighted the "unnecessary suffering" of patients at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, NHS chief Sir David Nicholson remains in his role today.

Victims' families have called for him to step down over the Stafford Hospital scandal, despite Sir David saying he is "not ashamed" of being in his job.

Read: NHS chief 'did not see' abuse on visits to hospital

Frank and Janet Robinson, whose son John who died at Stafford hospital seven years ago, spoke to ITV Daybreak.

Frank said: "[Sir David] presided over a failing trust, no one has been able to account for this... I was always told the 'buck stops at the top'."

Read: report calls for 'zero tolerance approach to care'

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'Systemic failings' were to blame at Stafford Hospital

Yesterday, a report highlighted "appalling and unnecessary suffering of patients" at Stafford hospital.

Read: Relatives unappeased by Stafford Hospital abuse report

Human rights lawyer Emma Jones spoke to ITV Daybreak, she said that no one was to blame for what happened at Stafford, that it was "systemic failings" from the top down.

Five other hospitals are to be investigated in the wake of the public inquiry into failings at Stafford Hospital.

Read: Key recommendations of NHS Mid Staffordshire public inquiry

NHS boss defiant despite calls for him to resign

NHS chief Sir David Nicholson remains in his role today despite calls for him to resign over the Stafford Hospital scandal.

Victims' families have demanded he step down, but Sir David said he is "not ashamed" of being in his job following the publication of the Francis Report.

It highlighted the "appalling and unnecessary suffering" of patients at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2009.

NHS chief Sir David Nicholson
NHS chief Sir David Nicholson Credit: Press Association

Sir David, who was chief executive of the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority (WMSHA) between August 2005 and April 2006, told ITV News: "I am not ashamed of being in my job today.

"Clearly it was a whole system failure and we need to reflect on what Francis says, the whole of the NHS - myself, leaders in the NHS, doctors and nurses - need to reflect on what we can learn from that to make sure it never happens again."

Watch Sir David Nicholson's interview with Mark Austin

Hospitals welcome probe into high mortality rates

Hospital trusts to be investigated over their high mortality rates have welcomed the forthcoming review.

Read: NHS: Mortality rates at five trusts to be investigated

Christine Green, chief executive of Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said she looked forward to receiving the inspectors, adding it was "well recognised" that the trust's mortality rate had been elevated for the past two years.

A spokeswoman for Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said they were committed to improving mortality rates and to identifying any lessons that can be learned.

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Relatives unappeased by Stafford Hospital abuse report

A public inquiry has recommended a raft of changes to the NHS designed to put ''patients first'' and give staff greater freedom to raise the alarm over poor standards.

No individuals were named in the Francis report, and nobody was blamed for the deaths of hundreds of patients as a result of failings at Stafford Hospital.

The families who saw their relatives dying on the wards say they want accountability, including the resignation of the chief executive of the NHS who used to oversee the region.

ITV News' Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:

Read: Key recommendations of NHS Mid Staffordshire public inquiry

Regulator 'must be better' at challenging poor care

The head of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) David Behan has said the Francis report "strengthens" its role as a regulator, but he admitted it must be "much better at identifying and challenging poor care". Here are some of the reforms the CQC plans to make:

  • Inspectors to "look more closely at how hospitals are run"
  • More clinical experts to be part of inspection teams (i.e. a nurse will help inspect nurses)
  • Look at ways of developing a team of "specialist inspectors"
  • "Listen much harder" to people who use NHS services and use a "wider range of information and evidence" to assess the quality of care.

Read: Standards should be policed by 'single regulator'

NHS chief 'did not see' abuse on visits to Stafford Hospital

NHS chief Sir David Nicholson has said he visited wards at Stafford Hospital during the period when the abuse outlined in the Francis report was taking place, but that he didn't notice anything of concern.

At the time, Sir David was in charge of the strategic health authority, overseeing the setting of targets for the Mid Staffs NHS Trust. He spoke to ITV News presenter Mark Austin:

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