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Monitor statement in response to Public Inquiry

Monitor profoundly and sincerely regrets the events that took place at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust during the period covered by the Public Inquiry and, in particular, the shocking experiences of the patients and their families which have been so movingly described during both this Inquiry and the Independent Inquiry which preceded it. The standard of care that patients received was unacceptable.

We accept without hesitation our share of responsibility for failures in regulation during the period in question. We authorised a trust which in retrospect should not have been authorised and could have used our formal intervention powers sooner once problems had been uncovered.

We have learnt from the mistakes we made and have already made significant changes to the way we work as a result of what happened at Mid Staffordshire.

For example:

  • we will not authorise an NHS Trust without the Care Quality Commission’s assurance that it has no major concerns about the quality of care;
  • we incorporate an explicit assessment of a Board’s role in ensuring the quality of care into our regulatory judgement about whether a foundation trust, or a trust applying for foundation status, is well-run;
  • we work very closely with the CQC, sharing information about concerns in foundation trusts and applicant trusts, and jointly commissioning further investigations where necessary; and
  • we take action as soon as problems are identified in foundation trusts, using our statutory powers when that’s the best way to bring about change.

In preparing for our expanded role as sector regulator we are continuing this strong emphasis on quality governance in foundation trusts and we continue to work closely with the Care Quality Commission.

We welcome the Public Inquiry’s report and the necessary focus it brings to what went wrong in the regulation and oversight of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.  We will study the report carefully and where there are new lessons to learn we will apply them. Any further changes to the structure of regulation are necessarily a matter for government.

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