Robert Francis QC is a Barrister specialising in medical law, including clinical negligence claims. With this expertise, he led a public inquiry into the poor care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2009.
The investigation looked into why organisations responsible for regulating and managing the trust did not spot problems before they were brought to light by the campaign group ‘Cure the NHS’.
The Healthcare Commission report exposed appalling treatment and high mortality rates at the hospital and concluded that an estimated 400 to 1,200 people could have died unnecessarily there between 2005 and 2008.
Recurring problems emerged, such as:
The first Francis report, published in 2010, cited “historic understaffing” of nurses as one of a number of reasons for poor care. Wards were re-organised without necessary risk assessments leading to patient care being compromised.
The ratio of registered nurses to healthcare assistants dropped as low as 40:60 in some areas. Francis specifically criticised the trust for being obsessed with obtaining foundation trust status and meeting targets rather than patient care. At the heart of what happened at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust was poor nursing care.
The second Francis report, published in 2013, looked at how the set-up of the entire health and social care system in England can help or hinder nurses and other staff to deliver good care. It also focused on the culture of the NHS and its impact on the ability of staff to raise concerns.
The report made over 200 recommendations, including:
Thoroughly understanding the key issues of the Francis Reports enables you to have a prime example to refer to when answering ethics questions and teamwork questions during your interview. Some example questions you could be asked include:
Our Interview Question Bank has over 100 other questions and answer guides for you to check out.
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