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NHS patient safety pledges

Jeremy Hunt has NHS staff could face a new criminal offence of wilful neglect of patients as one of a series of measures adopted by the Health Secretary from the Francis report into the deaths at Stafford Hospital.

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Measures in response to 'appalling' Stafford findings

Robert Francis QC first published his recommendations in February this year. Credit: PA

The Stafford Hospital inquiry, chaired by Robert Francis QC, highlighted the "appalling and unnecessary suffering" of hundreds of people at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009.

Up to 1,200 patients may have died needlessly after they were "routinely neglected" at the hospital.

Many were left lying in their own urine and excrement for days, forced to drink water from vases or given the wrong medication.

Mr Francis made a total of 290 sweeping recommendations for healthcare regulators, providers and the Government.

One of the key suggestions was that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) should set out how many staff are needed on any type of ward at any time.

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