Stafford Hospital scandal

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The Stafford Hospital scandal arose due to unusually high mortality rates amongst patients at the Stafford Hospital, Stafford, England.


The scandal came to light because of an investigation by the Healthcare Commission into the operation of Stafford Hospital in Stafford, England. The commission was first alerted by the "apparently high mortality rates in patients admitted as emergencies".[1] When the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which is responsible for running the hospital, failed to provide what the commission considered an adequate explanation, a full-scale investigation was carried out between March and October 2008.[1] Released in March 2009, the commission's report severely criticised the Foundation Trust's management and detailed the appalling conditions and inadequacies at the hospital. Many press reports suggested that because of the substandard care between 400 and 1200 more patients died between 2005 and 2008 than would be expected for the type of hospital,[2][3] though in fact such ‘excess’ death statistics did not appear in the final Healthcare Commission report.[4]

As a result, the trust's chief executive, Martin Yeates, was suspended (with full pay), while its chairman, Toni Brisby, resigned.[3] Both Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Health Secretary Alan Johnson apologised to those who suffered at the hospital.[3][5] Also in response to the scandal, the mortality rates of all National Health Service hospitals have been made accessible on a website.[6]

In March 2009 it was revealed that executives who had run the NHS trust at the time actually received promotions within the health service. Most notably Cynthia Bower, who was from 2006 chief executive of the trust's parent body, NHS West Midlands, was recruited to run the Care Quality Commission quango.[7]

On 21 July 2009, the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Burnham, announced a further independent inquiry into care provided by Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust. The generally critical inquiry report was published on 24 February 2010. The report made 18 local and national recommendations, including that the regulator, Monitor, de-authorise the Foundation Trust.[8]

Compensation payments averaging £11,000 were paid to some of the families involved.[9]

In February 2010, Burnham agreed to a further independent inquiry of the commissioning, supervisory and regulatory bodies for Foundation Trusts.[8]

Public inquiry

In June 2010, the new government announced that a full public inquiry would be held.[10] The inquiry began on 8 November 2010 chaired by Robert Francis QC, who had chaired the fourth inquiry which he had criticised for its narrow remit. The inquiry will consider the more than a million pages of previous evidence as well as hearing from witnesses.[11] The final report was published on 6 February 2013.[12]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Investigation into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Healthcare Commission, March 2009, ,, retrieved 6 May 2009 
  2. Rebecca Smith (Medical Editor). "NHS targets 'may have led to 1,200 deaths' in Mid-Staffordshire", The Daily Telegraph, 18 March 2009. Retrieved on 9 November 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Emily Cook. "Stafford hospital scandal: Up to 1,200 may have died over "shocking" patient care", Daily Mirror, March 18, 2009. Retrieved on May 6, 2009. 
  4. Robert Francis QC (24 February 2010), "Volume I, Section G: Mortality statistics", Independent Inquiry into care provided by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust January 2005 – March 2009, The Stationery Office, p. 352, HC375-I, ,, retrieved 9 November 2010, "it has been concluded that it would be unsafe to infer from the figures that there was any particular number or range of numbers of avoidable or unnecessary deaths at the Trust." 
  5. R Bramwell. Gordon Brown says sorry for Stafford Hospital scandal. The Sentinel. URL accessed on May 6, 2009.
  6. Laura Donnelly. "Death rates victory after Stafford scandal", The Daily Telegraph, 2 May 2009. Retrieved on 6 May 2009. 
  7. Smith, Rebecca. "Stafford Hospital execs land higly-paid [sic] jobs", The Daily Telegraph, 18 March 2009. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Robert Francis QC (24 February 2010). Robert Francis Inquiry report into Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. House of Commons. . Retrieved 24 February 2010. 
  9. "NHS trust pays compensation to victims of 'appalling' patient care", Press Association, The Guardian, 31 October 2010. Retrieved on 31 October 2010. 
  10. Nick Triggle. "Public inquiry into scandal-hit Stafford Hospital", Daily Telegraph, 9 June 2010. Retrieved on 9 June 2010. 
  11. "Stafford Hospital public inquiry opens", BBC, 8 November 2010. Retrieved on 8 November 2010. 
  12. "Patients Association sounds alarm over 'flawed' NHS complaints code", The Guardian, 27 January 2013. Retrieved on 29 January 2013. 

External links

Coordinates: 52°48′40″N 2°5′52″W / 52.81111°N 2.09778°W / 52.81111; -2.09778

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