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Ruling on future of Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust due

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is due to announce his decision on whether the scandal-hit Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust should be dissolved.

Mid Staffordshire was the focus of one of the biggest scandals in the history of the NHS. Credit: PA Wire

Mid Staffordshire was the focus of one of the biggest scandals in the history of the NHS when hundreds more people died than would normally be expected.

The Francis Inquiry last year found examples of "appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people", with some left lying in their own faeces for days and drinking from vases.

Administrators have previously deemed the trust financially "unsustainable", claiming it would face annual debts of more than £40 million by 2017 without changes.

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UNISON: Stafford Hospital announcement is 'deeply worrying'

Today’s news is deeply worrying for patients, staff and local people. More than 15,000 local residents have already signed a petition calling for the hospital to keep its acute services. It is vital that these views are listened to and acted upon at all stages of the consultation process.

Hospital staff and managers have put many hours of hard work into trying to turn this hospital around after the tragic lapses of care that occurred.

There is money available to bail out banks, there should be money available to bail out vital local services such as hospitals. The government must step in.

– Christina McAnea, UNISON head of Health
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Hospital Trust board and governor to be suspended

Health regulator Monitor has appointed administrators to look at how to make services at Stafford Hospital 'sustainable'.

The board and the governor will be suspended and the administrators will take over the running of the hospital.

They will have 45 days to produce proposals which will then be open to public consultation.

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Robert Francis welcomes government's NHS response

Robert Francis says the government did not take on all his recommendations. Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The chairman of the inquiry into the scandal at the Mid Staffordshire hospital trust has welcomed the government's response to his report - but warned that it will only be judged properly "over the next few months".

Robert Francis told the Health Service Journal last night:

"Even though it is clear it does not accept all my recommendations, the government's statement today indicates its determination to make positive changes to the culture of the NHS, in part by adopting some of my recommendations and in part through other initiatives."

He added: "The overall effectiveness of the response will have to be judged on the detail developed over the next few months, and the decisions taken about recommendations on which no decision has been taken at this time."

Government 'falls short' over nurse staffing levels

The Head of Nursing at Unison says even if recruitment standards are consistent across the country, today's recommendations don't go far enough. Ail Adams said:

"Nurses have been trained in the fundamentals of care.

"But I think the Government has fallen short today with staffing levels. It's all very well to recommend the health watchdog NICE develops the guidelines for them to be applied locally."

"But if we look at other international models, in America and Australia they have minimum nurse to patient ratios."

Ail Adams, Head of Nursing, Unison Credit: ITV News

Systemic NHS failings 'from the ward right to the top'

Speaking to ITV News Julie Bailey, from the 'Cure the NHS' campaign, said today's announcement only amounted to a small step in the right direction.

She added:

"We know there are failings in the NHS now and there's nothing being done about it. We need to ensure the culture changes, and the behaviour of the people in the NHS, and that starts at the top.

"These were systemic failings from the ward right to the top of Whitehall. I don't seem to see anything in the recommendations to ensure that Whitehall has learnt."

Julie Bailey , 'Cure the NHS' campaign Credit: ITV News
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