Key recommendations of the Francis Report

The Francis Public Inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust made 290 recommendations, among them:

More powers to suspend or prosecute boards and individuals

Where serious harm or death has resulted to a patient as a result of a breach of the fundamental standards, criminal liability should follow.

Duty of candour

Every healthcare organisation and everyone working for them must be honest, open and truthful in all their dealings with patients and the public, and organisational and personal interests must never be allowed to outweigh the duty to be honest, open and truthful.

Only registered people should care for patients

A registration system should be created under which no unregistered person should be permitted to provide direct physical care to patients currently under the care and treatment of a registered nurse or a registered doctor (or who are dependent on such care by reason of disability and/or infirmity) in a hospital or care home setting. The system should apply to healthcare support workers. This approach is applicable to all patients but requires special attention for the elderly.

It should be clear who is in charge

Hospitals should review whether to reinstate the practice of identifying a senior clinician who is in charge of a patient’s case, so that patients and their supporters are clear who is in overall charge of a patient’s care.

Gagging clauses should be banned

Gagging clauses or non-disparagement clauses should be prohibited in the policies and contracts of healthcare organisations, regulators and commissioners; insofar as they seek, or appear, to limit bona fide disclosure in relation to public interest issues of patient safety and care.