Statement from Mark Duman and Sarah Smith, Directors of the Patient Information Forum
“We welcome the publication of the Francis report and its focus on putting the patient, not the system or the service, at the heart of all care. This has clearly been a comprehensive and wide ranging inquiry, the implications of which will take time to be fully realised and appreciated.
We applaud the ambition to create a ‘common patient centred culture across the NHS’ and hope that we never again see such an appalling lack of compassion and care. Sadly, however, this is not the first time. The Bristol Inquiry which reported more than 10 years ago highlighted many of the same issues and put forward recommendations which clearly remained unfulfilled at Mid Staffs – for respect and honesty, for a Health Service which is well led; for care of an appropriate standard and for public involvement through empowerment.
At the Patient Information Forum we believe that the foundations of a high quality NHS must be built on excellent patient experience – where patients and their families are well informed, properly supported and health literate; and where patient and public involvement and engagement are embedded in every organisation, at every level and in every service.
In a changing NHS that is increasingly focused on competition and on financial constraints we urge the Government, Department of Health, NHS Commissioning Board and NHS staff to grasp this opportunity to make some fundamental changes to the culture of the NHS; to strengthen the rights of patients; to invest in ensuring that we are fully informed and supported to make decisions about our care and the services we use; and that we all feel confident and skilled enough to speak up when things go wrong.”
To read the final report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry go to: www.midstaffspublicinquiry.com/