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Paul Sankey asks - who is to blame for failings in Stafford?

The former Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, has made some interesting comments to the enquiry into failings by Mid Staffordshire Hospitals NHS Trust. More than 400 people died than would have been expected between 2005 and 2008 and a previous investigation found that patients had been ‘routinely neglected’. It seems that negligence had become a way of life in Stafford.
Mr Burnham accused the Trust of being ‘overly concerned with finance and cutting costs’. He criticised GPs for failing to flag up the fact that things were going wrong. He also blamed the regulator, Monitor, for failing to get a grip on the situation.
A proper understand of where exactly things went wrong is crucial if we are to learn from the disastrous mistakes at Stafford. However given that the foundation of the Government’s reforms is cost-cutting, commissioning by GPs and regulation (with a particular focus on competition to reduce cost) by Monitor – all of which are in the spotlight at Stafford – this does not bode well for the future.Paul Sankey is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.