Management failings at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust
Following the release of The Francis Inquiry Report, the inquiry chairman, Robert Francis QC, said "fundamental change" is needed to prevent the public losing confidence in the NHS. He has made 290 recommendations aimed at ensuring patients are put first.
In response to the report, Petra Wilton, Director of Strategy and External Affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, has called for an overhaul of the current management structure within the NHS with some strong recommendations for the future. She said:
“The Francis Inquiry Report has today exposed the depth of the catastrophic management failings at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. It is clear that poor management standards and senior management failings led to hundreds of unnecessary patient deaths. It has highlighted that bad management, when it comes to the NHS, really can cost lives. Urgent action is needed to ensure those working in management positions across the health service have the skills and training needed to bring about the necessary improvements in patient care.
“It’s clear from the report that there was a dangerous separation between the senior management teams and those providing frontline care, which created a blame culture within the hospital with staff feeling under-valued, unsupported and in fear of reprisals if issues were brought to light.
“There is a huge need to encourage staff to be more open and there has to be a sense of accountability at all levels to stop such inexcusable mistakes being made again. Whilst more regular and wider monitoring is welcomed by many, it is also essential that managers have the training and support needed to meet the standards expected. Independent inspections can play a key role in raising standards, but it is critical that the need to meet targets does not continue to cloud core objectives such as staff wellbeing and patient care.
“It is vital that the report recognises the importance of building skills and performance against professional management standards and ensures that all staff, whether clinicians or managers, are encouraged to get qualified and recognised for their management skills.
The report comes against a backdrop of figures showing that just 1 in 5 managers in the UK are professionally qualified. Yet 9 out of 10 say management qualifications and training improves their performance and that of the teams they manage.”
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