Francis Report - Strong on Candour, Weak on Patient Voice & Experience

Wed, 6 February 2013

Francis Report into Failures at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust
National Voices’ Response

National Voices welcomes the call by Robert Francis QC for a statutory duty of candour to inform patients fully when things go wrong with their care. However National Voices also believes Francis’ report should have been more radical in calling for a stronger voice for patients, service users, families and carers.

Robert Francis was speaking as chair of the second Inquiry into failings at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Jeremy Taylor, chief executive of National Voices, said: “Patients and their families deserve a legal duty of candour, that’s a real duty to be honest with patients when things go wrong. It is disappointing that the Prime Minister didn’t commit to making this happen in his response to Francis’ recommendations today.

“We also need a much stronger voice for patients and we need to understand how the system will respond to the experiences of patients. Francis’ recommendations could be read as making a paternalistic system stronger, for example with more consultation with patients and communities. That means patients are still responding to the system from the outside. We must go further in building patient leadership, with a seat at the boardroom table and an equal voice with clinicians and managers. And we need managers to develop systems of feedback that are comprehensive, working at all levels of the system and enabling staff to respond quickly.”

National Voices is a coalition of 130 health and social care charities.

Listen to a podcast on Francis with Jeremy Taylor.

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.