The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which represents the medical royal colleges and faculties in the UK has made the following statement in response to the publication of Robert Francis’s report into the failings at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust:
There were shocking failures in care at Mid Staffordshire Trust and system breakdowns in how the NHS safeguarded the quality of care for patients.
Quality of care must be the foremost priority for all involved in the delivery of health services. That was not the culture in Mid Staffordshire. All professionals from the medical and nursing profession to managers have a share in the responsibility for this failing. As such we express our profound regret for the breakdowns in professional standards experienced by patients and their families.
We believe that poor care is not everywhere in the NHS but has the potential to happen anywhere. Many doctors will have had experience of aspects of what happened at Mid Staffordshire. Within organisations which in overall terms provide a good standard of care there can be departments, wards or teams where standards fall below what is acceptable.
The delivery of quality care is a shared responsibility and all parts of the healthcare system – politicians, national leaders, managers and clinicians – must really listen to and hear what is said to them by patients and carers to ensure that quality of care, patient safety and patient experience are truly the central drivers of what happens in the NHS.
Medical Royal Colleges exist to raise standards across the health system. All the activities they have been and continue to be involved with in relation to developing clinical standards and responsive high quality medical education are all aimed at improving the quality of care for patients.
The Academy and all individual Royal Colleges will be carefully examining the specific recommendations of the Francis Report to see how they, working with others, can take forward the necessary improvements to ensure that the circumstances in Mid Staffordshire cannot be repeated and we continually improve patient care.
Notes to editors
1. The Academy’s role is to promote, facilitate and where appropriate co-ordinate the work of the Medical Royal Colleges and their Faculties for the benefit of patients and healthcare. The Academy comprises the Presidents of the Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties who meet regularly to agree direction.
2. The Academy is organising seminar in April for member Colleges and partner organisations to consider in detail how Medial Royal Colleges and professional organisations can support implementation of the relevant recommendations in the report.
3. The Academy Chairman, Professor Terence Stephenson, is available for comment or interview
4. For further information contact Rosie Carlow on 020 7490 6815