NHS Changes Off The Back Of Stafford Hospital

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's announced zero harm to patients off the back of the scandal at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Failing NHS bosses will be put on a blacklist to ensure they can no longer work in the health service, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in his response to the Francis report into the serious failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

The report highlighted ''appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people'' at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009, and Mr Hunt announced plans to introduce a ''national barring list'' for managers who let their patients and the NHS down.

But he backed NHS boss Sir David Nicholson, who was in charge of the regional health authority responsible for the trust for a short period while patients were being mistreated.

Mr Hunt also said that a new Chief Inspector of Hospitals would be able to name and shame poorly performing trusts. And if trusts do not deliver adequate care to patients they could be put into a ''failure regime'' and may ultimately be put into administration.

He also confirmed that hospitals would be subject to Ofsted-style ratings - where hospitals will be rated as ''outstanding'', ''good'', ''requiring improvement'' or ''poor''.

Mr Hunt also outlined plans to link NHS pay progression to performance in delivering high-quality care. Aspiring nurses will have to work for up to a year as a healthcare assistant or support worker before they can apply to become a nurse.

Robert Francis QC, chair of the public inquiry into the ''disaster'' at Stafford Hospital, made 290 sweeping recommendations for healthcare regulators, providers and the Government.

As many as 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.

But Labour's shadow health secretary said the culture in the NHS will never change as required if wards are understaffed and overstretched.

Andy Burnham said falling nurse numbers should ring alarm bells at the Department of Health as he questioned the Government's response to the report into the scandal.

Mr Burnham said Labour would broadly accept the Government response but also questioned why there were not detailed responses to all 290 recommendations.