Stafford hospital negligence compensation bill
It has emerged that the bereaved families shocked by the failings at Stafford Hospital are planning to file compensation claims, suing NHS managers over corporate manslaughter.
During 2005 and 2008, 1,200 patients died due to medical negligence and sub standard conditions at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
Anger rouse amongst the families after it was exposed last week that none of the senior managers in the service, who were in charge at the time, will face disciplinary action.
The executives were paid off, remained in posts or found another job, whilst the former chief executive also received a large golden handshake.
The shocking lenient ‘penalty’ was also made worse by the fact that five other hospitals with high patient deaths had also escaped investigation by regulator the Care Quality Commission.
As a result, Now Cure The NHS Campaign, a group created by people who lost relatives or were victims of poor care and support within Mid-Staffordshire Foundation Trust hospitals, has announced it will take matters into its own hands.
Its leader, Julie Bailey, from Stafford, whose mother died at Stafford Hospital, said it is considering launching a private prosecution of board members.
“These people need to be brought to account. What they did in our eyes is tantamount to corporate manslaughter and Cure The NHS is looking at bringing a private civil case against the managers for just that.
“This is especially important if the judicial review to get a proper public inquiry fails because none of them has taken the stand in public to give evidence.
“These managers presided over care while our loved ones suffered and died. It doesn't seem credible that they can walk away from Mid Staffordshire unblemished,” she stated.
An independent inquiry chaired by Robert Francis QC, a specialist in clinical negligence, found that patients at Stafford hospitals were abused and neglected by staff and were left in humiliating and undignified conditions.
Patients, most of whom were treated at the trust's main hospital in Stafford, were “robbed of their dignity”, left unwashed, in soiled bedclothes and in states of undress in full view of others, it found.
However, Mr Francis also found that 18 of the 22 board members who ran the trust over the period under investigation had now left their jobs, but do not face disciplinary action.
Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, called for the hospitals to be investigated urgently.
“We cannot allow Stafford to happen again. The Health Secretary has to ensure these hospitals are inspected to clear the air.”
Several doctors involved in Mid Staffordshire have been referred to the General Medical Council for investigation. The Nursing and Midwifery Council has also opened a case file, with so far, only one nurse being under inquiry.