Damning hospital probe cost £1.7m

Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

An independent inquiry into "appalling" levels of care at Stafford Hospital cost taxpayers £1.7m, it has emerged.

Patients were neglected by staff and management were too focussed on targets, Robert Francis QC said in his 900-page report last month.

The inquiry began after the Healthcare Commission revealed the hospital’s high death rate last year.

Cure the NHS Campaigner Julie Bailey, who has called for a public inquiry, said the report was a "waste of money".

She said she believed relatives had learned "very little" from it.

Not satisfied

David Kidney, Labour MP for Stafford, said: "This vast expense on this inquiry for barristers and lawyers and premises and all the rest is just one more reason why I am so angry about what went wrong at Stafford Hospital."

There were at least 400 more deaths than expected at the hospital between 2005 to 2008, the Healthcare Commission report said last March.

This latest investigation into what went wrong, which made 18 recommendations, took five months to compile but has not satisfied many relatives.

A Freedom of Information request by BBC Radio Stoke revealed the inquiry spent £391,000 on consultants and £55,000 on stationary.

Mr Francis and the three inquiry counsels who addressed witnesses shared £492,000 in fees and expenses.

A further £121,000 was spent on solicitors fees, which included representation for witnesses, while the building the team were based at – on a business park in Stafford – cost £67,000. A further £37,000 was spent on accommodation and travel.

The Department of Health declined to comment on the costs. </p

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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