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Carers UK urges action after Francis Inquiry report

06 February 2013

The report by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, chaired by Robert Francis QC, has been published today and calls for “fundamental change" in the culture of the NHS to ensure patients are cared for properly.

Key among the inquiry’s 290 recommendations was a focus on ensuring “patient-centred culture” through every level of the NHS.

Responding to the report, Prime Minister David Cameron said relatives were overlooked or reproached when highlighting concerns about the care of loved ones.

Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, today welcomed the publication of the report and the focus on the need to listen to families:

“The shocking abuse highlighted in the Francis Inquiry raises a growing crisis of trust in health and care services amongst families caring for older and disabled relatives.

Families have the welfare of their relatives at heart and can provide vital insight into what good care is and where services are going wrong. Had the views of families been taken on board earlier and acted upon earlier, many of these terrible cases of lack of care could have been addressed. The Prime Minister is right to point out that families, who provide the bulk of care in this country, should have been listened to in the terrible cases which the Inquiry investigated.

We now need far more robust measures to ensure the views of family and friends are properly counted – this applies across all care settings, including in the home and in residential care, not only in hospitals. It is absolutely vital that care is not just patient-centred but values and listens to patients’ families and carers.

The Government must now ensure this report is acted upon so that families can be certain they can trust relatives are safe from neglect and abuse and will receive good quality health or social care.”

The full Inquiry report can be found at www.midstaffspublicinquiry.com

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