Inquiry 'to urge reforms to the NHS'
WIDE-RANGING reforms of the National Health Service will be recommended by a public inquiry into serious failings of care at a scandal-hit hospital, it was reported yesterday.
The £11 million review of what went wrong at Stafford Hospital between January 2005 and March 2009 will suggest hospitals that cover up mistakes by doctors and poor treatment of patients should face fines and possible closure, the Sunday Times said.
And Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, said that the NHS needed a "change of culture".
The inquiry, led by Robert Francis QC, is due to report back this month.
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It was commissioned in 2010 after a separate highly-critical report by the Healthcare Commission the previous year revealed a catalogue of failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and said "appalling standards" put patients at risk. Between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected in a three-year period from 2005 to 2008, the commission said.