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Wave of apologies following Mid Staffs report

8 February 2013

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The Prime Minister and the Department of Health (DH) apologised “wholeheartedly” for the part they played in the failings at Mid Staffordshire hospital. 
Speaking in Parliament following the publication of the Francis report, David Cameron apologised to the families for the way the system allowed abuse to go unchecked. 
New vision
Blaming “bureaucratic” target hunting, Prime Minister David Cameron said his government will put “compassion” first, laying out a “new vision” for nursing. 
“We have set this out explicitly in the Mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board, together with a new vision for compassionate nursing.
Hourly nursing rounds and a “tough” new programme for eliminating hospital infections and pressure sores will be introduced. 
“I would like to apologise wholeheartedly for the part the Department played in the failings at Mid Staffs and the terrible impact it had on patients, their families and the standards of care,” said Una O’Brian, DH permanent secretary. 
Reflecting deeply
DH staff are “reflecting deeply” on yesterday’s report, she said, and will be thinking about what action to take. 
O’Brian said: “We will be considering more profoundly our own behaviours as the steward of the health and care system and how we can do more to listen to patients and truly understand their experience of illness, care and recovery.
Unite, a union which represents many healthcare workers, has called for the resignation of Sir David Nicholson. 
Blame game
Although the Francis report highlighted that the “blame game” would not be constructive, Unite has said the NHS Commissioning Board head should step down for failing to tackle the abuse of patients. 
“A complete overhaul of dysfunctional management in the NHS needs to happen as a matter of urgency and the first person out the door should be Sir David Nicolson,” Unite national officer for health Rachael Maskell said.
Both the Prime Minister and DH will respond in detail on the 290 recommendations from the Francis report next month.