06/02/2013 03:08 GMT

NHS Scandal Report Into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Due

The much-anticipated report from the public inquiry into serious failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust is set to be published, kickstarted by a grief-stricken woman after her mother died.

The landmark report is expected to propose wide-ranging reforms of the NHS.

It has been suggested that chair of the inquiry Robert Francis QC will recommend that hospitals should face tough new scrutiny by teams of inspectors which include doctors and nurses.

cure the nhs

Julie Bailey, of campaign group Cure the NHS, who lost her mother Bella, aged 86 whilst she was a patient at Stafford General Hospital

The move will form part of an overhaul of the array of regulatory bodies that failed to detect failings in patient care at the trust, it has been reported.

It is also expected that Francis, a specialist in medical legal issues, will recommend a "duty of candour" that would see fines or threat of closure used against hospitals that fail to tell their patients if their treatment went wrong.

The public inquiry was ordered after it was revealed that between 400 and 1,200 people more people died than expected at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009 amid "appalling" standards of care.

Julie Bailey set up the campaign group Cure The NHS after her mother, Bella Bailey, 86, died at the scandal-hit hospital in 2007.

Patients were left for hours sitting in their own faeces, food and drink was left out of reach and hygiene was so poor that relatives had to clean toilets themselves.

Gillian Peacham, whose husband Arthur died in the hospital in 2006, said that without the campaign people still would not know what happened at the hospital.

"I really truly believe that if it hadn't been for Cure The NHS this would all have been brushed under the carpet," Peacham said.

In addition to basic care errors there was a string of clinical blunders including botched operations, misdiagnoses and drugs were not given or given late.

Francis's first report, drawn from the independent inquiry he chaired between 2009 and 2010, concluded that patients were "routinely neglected" while the trust was preoccupied with cost-cutting and targets.

nhs inquiry

Members of Cure the NHS demonstrate outside Stafford Hospital, during an inquiry into standards of care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

Concerns have been raised that other organisations may suffer the same fate amid the NHS £20 billion efficiency drive.

Indeed cases of poor care standards at the trust are still surfacing.

Last week the trust confirmed that an employee at Stafford Hospital was suspended after taking photographs of patients.

And the week before it emerged that police were investigating after a baby was found with a dummy taped into its mouth.

Human rights lawyer Emma Jones said her firm Leigh Day is investigating claims of abuse at 10 other hospitals.

Jones, who represented 120 victims of abuse at the trust, said: "Every day abuse against patients takes place, and it is usually the most vulnerable who suffer and without widespread reform it will continue.

"People who are admitted to hospital are vulnerable. They are often frightened and have not been told what is wrong with them, or what treatment they will receive.

"These issues need to be addressed and reforms put into place as a matter of urgency to ensure such a situation does not arise again."

The Patients Association said that the Government must urgently address the "care deficit" in the NHS.

stafford hospital

The high number of unexpected deaths at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust could have been prevented

Chief executive Katherine Murphy said: "Whilst our first thoughts must be for those families and friends who lost loved ones so tragically in Mid Staffs, every possible action must be taken to avoid such an appalling scandal ever happening again.

"Our Helpline hears from patients, relatives and carers every day who raise concerns about basic standards of care and safety, from not receiving adequate pain relief to a lack of assistance to go to the toilet, not being met.

"There are a number of urgent issues the Government and the NHS must confront to address this care deficit and provide the highest quality services possible.

"Whatever the specific recommendations are from the Francis Inquiry, a fundamental shift in the culture of NHS organisations so that both appalling and good care are viewed as learning opportunities is crucial."

The report was due to be published in October but Mr Francis announced that it was to be delayed.

The inquiry, which sat for 139 days, heard from heard from victims, their family members, patients' groups, charities, medics, politicians, unions and representatives of some of the royal colleges.

So far, the bill for the Inquiry has exceeded £13 million.

Jeremy Taylor, chief executive of National Voices, said he hoped the report would act as a spur for strengthening of patient and public voice in the health service.

He said: "No matter how good, regulators and inspectors cannot be everywhere at once. Patients, families and staff are the eyes and ears of the health service. We must ensure that they are in a position to speak out and be listened to."