Families call for bosses to be held responsible for deaths of relatives

 

The families of patients who died after receiving substandard care at Stafford Hospital have demanded that senior managers – including the current head of the NHS – be held responsible for the deaths of their loved ones.

Campaigners welcomed the findings of Robert Francis QC’s inquiry but called for the report’s recommendations of criminal accountability to be implemented retrospectively.

Deb Hazeldine, 43, whose mother, Ellen Linstead, died in 2006 after contracting a superbug at the hospital, said: “My mum died horrifically and hundreds of other people as well – we should have accountability for everybody who has been failed.”

Families called for the resignation of Sir David Nicholson, NHS chief executive, who was head of Shropshire and Staffordshire Strategic Health Authority which was responsible for Mid Staffs NHS Trust at the time of the scandal. Some also demanded the head of Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, after the report’s damning verdict on nursing standards.

“We don’t want a bully at the top of this organisation, we want a leader who will inspire and guide the staff on the front line,” said Julie Bailey, head of the pressure group Cure the NHS.

“Sir David Nicholson needs to resign today. Peter Carter needs to resign today: he has failed the front line.”

She added: “Everything in this report is what we need; this will give patients power. But it needs a leader to take that forward, and David Nicholson is not that leader.”

A spokesman for David Cameron said that Sir David, who featured heavily in the report, enjoyed the Prime Minister’s full support.

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said the culture across the entire NHS had to change. He backed the idea that the Care Quality Commission could take on an enforcement role.

“The point about criminal prosecution, which I think most people feel, is that perhaps more than a thousand people died because of poor care. No one has been brought to book and that feels wrong,” he told Sky News.

Mike Farrar, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, promised a relentless drive to repair damage to public confidence in the health service on what he described as a “sad and shameful day for the NHS”.

“We owe it to every patient, family member and carer to [make sure] these sorts of tragedies do not happen again. It is up to all of us in the NHS to take responsibility for putting things right.

“We cannot externalise responsibility for standards of care to government, politicians or regulators or anybody else,” he said. Emma Jones, from the law firm Leigh Day, who claims to represent 120 people and their families who suffered at Stafford Hospital, said politicians and NHS management must make changes to ensure patients are put first.

“The measures laid out by Robert Francis of zero tolerance, closing hospitals where there are poor standards of care, and a greater focus on compassion in nursing are hopefully measures which the Government will now implement before anything like this can happen again.

“It must take place quickly to prevent the abuse, which we as lawyers are still witnessing,” she said.

Sir David Nicholson

Former chief executive of West Midlands Strategic Health Authority and the Shropshire and Staffordshire Strategic Health Authority. He was responsible for supervising Mid Staffs NHS Trust from 2005 to 2006. Yesterday he repeated his apology for the poor care experienced by patients, adding: “But apologies are not enough – we need action, we need to make things happen.”

Under fire: the health chiefs

Toni Brisby  Former chairman of Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.

Salary: £40,000 a year for three and a half days a week.

Yesterday’s report said: “Her failure to bring the Barry report to the board’s attention or to pursue with Mr Yeates what he was doing are further examples of what I regard to be a dangerous abrogation of directors’ fundamental duty to protect the safety of those that come to the Trust.” Left her position in 2009.

Cynthia Bower Former chief executive of West Midlands Strategic Health Authority.

The report concluded that Ms Bower’s priorities were directed at finance and restructuring rather than care. “The protection of patients does not figure expressly at all in her priorities, although she would doubtless argue that such a concept underlay all of them,” it found.

Martin Yeates Former chief executive of Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.

Salary: £180,000.

The report said he failed to appreciate the seriousness of the Trust’s problems and the significance of the mortality figures. “He was that most dangerous of leaders: one who was persuasive but ineffective,” it said. Received £400,000 pay-off and £1m pension pot.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

    Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

    Day In a Page

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test