After Francis: Doing Justice

Wed, 13 March 2013

Immediate Changes to Get the Ball Rolling

On NHS Change Day National Voices has issued a report, After Francis: Doing Justice, demanding a proper response to the Francis report and highlighting some of the urgent changes we need to see.

These include a legal duty of honesty so that hospitals and other NHS bodies must tell patients and their families if harm has been done.

National Voices’ Chief Executive, Jeremy Taylor, says: “A new NHS comes into being on
1 April in England. We want to see it imbued with the qualities that Robert Francis found to be deficient: compassionate, honest, open, transparent and with patients, families and communities having a strong voice.

National Voices believes many of the changes could be done quickly and will make a real difference. They include:

•    A legal duty of honesty: the Government should implement a statutory duty of candour for organisations to require them to tell patients when they have caused harm.

•    An end to “gagging” clauses for departing staff.

•    New whistle-blowing protection rights for patients and their families.

•    A new legal right for patients to participate in producing a care plan.

•    Ring-fenced funding for local Healthwatch organisations. New regulations for Healthwatch, which appear to constrain their freedom to comment on policy, should be replaced.

•    A new legal right to an independent advocate for the most vulnerable patients.

See a full copy of the report.

National Voices is a coalition of 130 health and social care charities all working to strengthen the voice of patients, service users, carers and families.


Notes to editors

For National Voices media enquiries please contact: Jules Acton on 020 3176 0737 / 0738

About National Voices
National Voices believes in people shaping health and social care. It is a coalition of more than 130 health and social care charities and speaks on behalf of its members and of the millions of patients, carers and social services users that they represent. It works to ensure that patient voices are heard and that they influence decisions at national level. National Voices' website.