The King's Fund's statement on the government's initial response to the Francis Inquiry report

Commenting on the government's response to Robert Francis’s report, Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund said:

‘We broadly welcome the government’s general approach. Quality of care should be a guiding principle for the NHS, and it is for the Secretary of State to make this clear. He cannot legislate for compassion but he can create a more stable environment, in which NHS organisations focus on improving quality of care.

‘Effective regulation has an important role to play as a ‘backstop’ against failure, but it is only actions on the ward and board that will deliver compassionate care for patients. This will require leaders, from chief executive to frontline clinicians, to start developing a culture of care as a matter of urgency. But we recognise this is not without its challenges, especially in the current financial climate where time and resources are under pressure.

‘The value of aggregated ratings for hospitals is highly questionable; these are complex organisations with different services and specialisms that may vary in quality so an overall rating can hide significant failings within a trust. We welcome the proposal for ratings for specific services, which we think will be of much greater value.’

More on the Francis Inquiry report

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