Ipswich Hospital in Heath Road

Ipswich: Hospital chiefs pledge to work to ensure catastrophic failings of care unveiled in Francis Report are not repeated at Ipswich Hospital

Thursday, February 7, 2013
10.30 AM

HEALTH chiefs at Ipswich Hospital will work to ensure the catastrophic failings of care witnessed at Stafford Hospital never happen at the Heath Road trust, bosses have told The Star.

The Francis Report, published yesterday, called for a “zero tolerance” approach to poor standards in the NHS, outlining 290 recommendations for reform.

The Prime Minister David Cameron, who apologised on behalf of the Government, announced the creation of a new post of chief inspector of hospitals, who will have responsibility for investigations into “whether a hospital is clean, safe and caring, rather than just an exercise in bureaucratic box-ticking”.

Inquiry chairman Robert Francis QC said hospitals which failed to comply with “fundamental standard” should be forced to close. And healthcare providers should be liable for prosecution if they fail to comply.

The 1,782–page report reveals there were “numerous” warning signs which should have alerted authorities to problems at the hospital between 2005 and 2009, which resulted in more than 1,000 deaths. Mr Francis said “appalling” conditions suffered by patients at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation trust, which runs the hospital, were primarily caused by “serious failure” by the trust board.

Dr Lynne Wigens, director of nursing and quality at Ipswich Hospital said the report has set a challenge for all NHS providers.

“It sets out very important new lessons for us all to learn,” she said. “For me it reinforces the importance of listening to and engaging with patients and carers, strengthening staff in the leadership and management of the hospital, and having clearly set standards for the safety and quality of care. These, together with a strong and visible board who make themselves known and accessible are crucial.

“All of us who work within the NHS have a duty to make sure that we never let the same thing happen again in any other hospital.”