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Francis report outlines commissioners role

7 February 2013

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Commissioners should take “control” by searching for alternative sources of provision, according to the newly released Francis report.  
The report, which concludes the inquiry into patient neglect accusations at Mid Staffordshire hospital, said commissioners should be responsible for acute care quality. 
Commissioners should work with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure that “services are provided well and provided safely,” the 290-recommendation report said. 
“There was a failure of the NHS system at every level to detect and take the action patients and the public were entitled to expect,” Robert Francis QC said.
CCGs should also be given the power to intervene when they do not think adequate care is being given, the report seems to say. 
Commissioners should “undertake their own audits, inspections and investigations” to ensure the quality of care Francis’ report said.  
“All of us working within the NHS will need to take responsibility, encouraging clinicians and managers to speak out when care is just not good enough,” said Rick Stern, NHS Alliance chief executive. 
Describing primary care as having a “crucial role,” Stern said as the “gateway to the NHS”, it will be essential that GPs act as a “critical friend”. 
However, Dr James Kingsland OBE said it’s important that the key messages of the 1,781-page report are not forgotten. 
The National Clinical Commissioning Community lead said: “I don’t think we should focus on a strengthening of regulations and management objectives. 
“We should focus on reform, the quality of care, and how the healthcare professions take ownership of the quality agenda and become accountable for it.
“This report is about a change in culture and a change in models of care. The people who are leading this change are not the old school – and they are certainly not managers.” 
Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners believes what happened at Mid Staffordshire Hospital was a “system failure of the highest order.” 
There is an “urgent need to rebalance and refocus” the commissioning process, the Francis report claimed. 
Primary care trusts (PCTs) were “hampered” by being “subjected” to reorganisation, the report from Robert Francis QC claimed. 
but, clinical accountable officer of Crawley CCG said.
New CCG leader Dr Amit Bhargava is hopeful for commissioning in the new NHS. 
He believes CCGs  “values” will make them automatically more “forward thinking”. 
Dr Bhargava said: “Because of the Francis review and the Winterbourne report before that, we have set our sights on the values of customer care and compassion. 
“We are involved, we are forward thinking, and we are clinicians that want to make a difference.”