Mid Staffs inquiry will urge GPs to highlight poor services

The Francis report into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust will urge GPs to speak out about dangerous services and act as patient advocates, GP leaders believe.

Mid Staffs: report will call for GPs to speak out about poor care (photo: Getty)
Mid Staffs: report will call for GPs to speak out about poor care (photo: Getty)

The long-awaited report from Robert Francis QC on the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry will be published at around 11.30am on Wednesday, ahead of a statement in the House of Commons by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey, who will meet Staffordshire GPs tonight at a BMA roadshow on the GP contract changes, said: ‘The likely message is that GPs need to remain as patient advocates and GPs need to speak up when they feel that services are dangerous. They can do that individually or through their LMCs.

‘One of the great things about general practice is that GPs are independent contractors and have a degree of freedom which hospital doctors don’t.'

Health workers' union Unite called for the appointment of ‘patient safety officers’ across all provider and commissioning organisations. Patients, families and staff wary of raising concerns would be able to go in confidence to an independent patient safety officer, it said.

Unite also called for a dedicated hotline for whistleblowers, to co-ordinate information about problematic trusts.

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar warned that pressure from the inquiry must not trigger a ‘simplistic blame game, excessive inspection or micromanagement’.

NHS leaders must ‘respond positively to the findings and build a more patient-centred NHS’, Mr Farrar said.

Inquiry chairman Mr Francis will read out a statement at a press conference today, bringing to a close a process that started in June 2010. He is due to make the statement at around 11.35am at the QEII Centre in Westminster, central London.

Tales from the Black Tower: In anticipation of the Francis report

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