The Francis Inquiry report

Since Robert Francis’s report into the failings at the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust  was published in February 2013, issues of patient safety and quality have been in the public eye more than ever. Here is our analysis and commentary on how to ensure high-quality, compassionate care, and a summary of our work in this area.

Our work

Our work following the Francis report

At The King’s Fund, we have brought people together to discuss the factors that characterise high-quality care, and consider how to implement the recommendations in the report. Through our leadership development work we have worked closely with boards and other health care leaders to explore what needs to change to place good quality patient care at the heart of what they do. And we are working with the Care Quality Commission on developing their approach to assessing leadership and culture and evaluating their overall assessment model.

Francis Inquiry report event

One year on from the publication of the Francis Inquiry review, and following the reports on patient safety and quality by Don Berwick and Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, our conference, One year on from Francis, explored their impact on patients' and families' experience of receiving care in the NHS. The conference looked at the new systems in the wake of the reports and the changes taking place to improve patient safety and quality in the NHS.

Catch up with Robert Francis's presentation at the Fund

Robert Francis QC gave the keynote presentation at our February 2013 event:

Our response to the Francis report and the government’s response

We welcome Robert Francis's comprehensive report which rightly looks across the whole system. However even if all 290 recommendations were implemented now, the fundamental shift in culture can only be achieved if patient care is put top of the agenda for boards and is the first responsibility of professionals working in the NHS.

Our report on Patient-centred leadership

Published in May 2013, our report on patient-centred leadership summarises the main findings of the Francis Inquiry into the failings of care at Mid Staffordshire in relation to NHS leadership and culture. It sets out what needs to be done to avoid similar failures in future, focusing on the role of three key 'lines of defence' against poor-quality care: frontline clinical teams, the boards leading NHS organisations, and national organisations responsible for overseeing the commissioning, regulation and provision of care.

Creating the right culture of care

What is the right culture of care? And how can organisations take steps to improve theirs?

Drawing on evidence, our experience of working with NHS boards and teams of NHS staff, and our work with staff and patients, we have identified a number of factors that characterise a good culture of care.

Our views on the Francis report

Our views on responding to the Francis Inquiry report

A number of experts from The King's Fund have considered the issues surrounding this inquiry, what it means for the NHS, and what needs to change in the health system to protect patients.

Putting patient safety first: how long will it take before the NHS learns from its mistakes?

Candace Imison draws on some of the inspirational stories we heard at our 2013 Annual Conference to look at how the NHS could improve patient safety by learning from mistakes.

Read Candace's blog on patient safety

The government’s response to Francis: will it lead to an improvement in quality of care?

Nigel EdwardsNigel Edwards shares his thoughts on the government's response to the Francis Inquiry report.

Read Nigel's blog on the government's response to Francis

The Keogh Review: a welcome return to 2008

As the NHS now enters its 66th year, how far have we got towards Darzi's vision of clinical and organisational leaders collecting data on quality and using it to continuously improve care?

Read Catherine's blog on the Keogh Review

Creating cultures that put patients first

The culture that patients are treated in is the one that we all work in, and if we are to learn from Francis and truly improve the NHS, it starts with us, says Donna Willis.

Read Donna's blog on creating cultures of care

Foundation trust governors: the promise of local accountability?

Becky SealeOur conversations with governors suggest they are still not fulfilling their potential as the voice of local populations on hospital boards. Not through a lack of will, but rather through a lack of clarity and support.

Read Becky's blog on foundation trust governors

After the hard truths, the hard actions

Whichever way you look at it, responding to Francis and the associated reports was going to be a challenging balancing act for the government.

Read Catherine's blog on the government's response to Francis

Now is the time to transform NHS cultures

Michael WestPublished in the BMJ Quality and Safety, a research project has examined how quality and safety is prioritised across the NHS in England. Michael West discusses the highlights of this work on the culture of care.

Read Michael's blog on NHS cultures

Can you change culture from Whitehall?

Can you change culture from Whitehall? Catherine Foot sets out six opportunities for the DH and NHS England to help them prioritise quality of care and safety for patients.

Read Catherine's blog on NHS cultures

Why do people find it so hard to speak out in the interests of patients?

Health care staff are usually motivated to enter their professions by a desire to make a difference for patients and service users. Why then, do they find it so hard to speak up for patients when they see care that does not meet satisfactory standards?

Read Bev's blog on speaking out

Katy Steward on what makes a board effective

Katy StewardIn the fourth of our series of articles ahead of the Francis Inquiry report, Katy Steward, Assistant Director, Leadership, considers the importance and impact of good board leadership.

Read Katy's article on effective boards

Joanna Goodrich on improving the quality of care for frail older people

Joanna Goodrich looks at the changes that can be made at all levels to significantly improve older people’s experience of care.

Read Joanna's article on quality of care

Bev Fitzsimons on improving the quality of care for patients

The Francis report is likely to provide a salutary reminder of the impact on patients when staff either don't or can't put patients at the heart of what they do.

Read Bev's article on quality of care

Anna Dixon on the role of the regulator

Dr Anna Dixon, Director of Policy at The King's Fund, discusses the role of the regulator and looks at how care quality can be improved.

Read Anna's article on regulation


What does the Francis Inquiry report consider?

Robert Francis has considered a range of issues in his final report including:

  • how to embed the patient voice throughout the system
  • how to engage health care staff generally in the leadership and management of their organisations
  • the standards set for the safety and quality of care, and who should have the responsibility for setting and enforcing them
  • the role of foundation trust governors and members, and other local public, patient and staff representatives
  • the collection, use and sharing of information and data.

Catch up with Robert Francis's presentation at the Fund

Robert Francis QC gave the keynote presentation at our February 2013 event: