This public inquiry report into serious failings in healthcare that took place at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust builds on the first independent report published in February 2010 (ISBN 9780102964394). It further examines the suffering of patients caused by failures by the Trust: there was a failure to listen to its patients and staff or ensure correction of deficiencies. There was also a failure to tackle the insidious negative culture involving poor standards and a disengagement from managerial and leadership responsibilities. These failures are in part a consequence of allowing a focus on reaching national access targets, achieving financial balance and seeking foundation trust status at the cost of delivering acceptable care standards. Further, the checks and balances that operate within the NHS system should have prevented the serious systemic failure that developed at Mid Staffs. The system failed in its primary duty to protect patients and maintain confidence in the healthcare system. This report identifies numerous warning signs that could and should have alerted the system to problems developing at the Trust. It also sets out 290 recommendations grouped around: (i) putting the patient first; (ii) developing a set of fundamental standards, easily understood and accepted by patients; (iii) providing professionally endorsed and evidence-based means of compliance of standards that are understood and adopted by staff; (iv) ensuring openness, transparency and candour throughout system; (v) policing of these standards by the healthcare regulator; (vi) making all those who provide care for patients , properly accountable; (vii) enhancing recruitment, education, training and support of all key contributors to the provision of healthcare; (viii) developing and sharing ever improving means of measuring and understanding the performance of individual professionals, teams, units and provider organisations for the patients, the public, and other stakeholders.
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