THE LONG-AWAITED final report into the critical failings at Stafford Hospital will be delayed until January.
Robert Francis QC, chair of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Inquiry was originally expected to deliver his report to the Secretary of State for Health in April and then in mid-October, but an announcement today has seen the report set back until January 2013.
Mr Francis said: “The Inquiry has heard a huge amount of evidence from many witnesses and organisations, and has gathered information from a number of seminars and visits.
“In addition, I need to complete a number of formal processes, to ensure any conclusions and recommendations I produce are fair and constructive,” he said. “Pulling this together into the final report is a complex and sensitive process.”
He said in order to ensure thorough consideration of these matters, he had written to the Secretary of State for Health to inform him that he now planned to complete his work in time to deliver the report in early January.
“As before, I am making this information publicly available, so that core participants, witnesses and those following the Inquiry are fully aware of the Inquiry’s progress.”
The news will prove a major set-back for local campaigners who have fought tirelessly to learn the truth behind the severe failings in emergency care provided by the trust between 2005 and 2008.
Once the report is submitted to the Secretary of State for Health it will be published and laid before Parliament, with the date of that presentation and publication a matter for the Secretary of State to decide.