BAD practice of any kind in our hospitals cannot be tolerated, even in the midst of good work by many staff, said Robert Francis QC, in an exclusive interview with Newsletter reporter Robin Scott.
“The fact that there is good practice in the place is not a reason for being reassured or explaining away bad practice.
“I think we all must agree that bad practice of the sort that we have heard described just cannot be tolerated.
"I don't in any way criticise those who have high regard for their local hospital but the reality is that if you have a good experience then you're going to think your hospital is wonderful and if you have a terrible experience you're not.
"Nothing in my reports has suggested that every single ward, or every single member of staff has done things that are wrong but what I do think is that every member of staff has a responsibility to recognise that perhaps there was more everyone could have done.
“I'm sure the people of Stafford, like everyone, have been completely appalled by the stories of care that were given to both of my inquiries, and they of course will be concerned about their hospital and the dangers it appears to face.
"The only comfort that I think I can give to them is that this awful process for local people - and I do understand that it is as awful for the community as it is probably for the people who work in the hospital - is that I hope I have identified the lessons that can be learned to make
it less likely that such a serious failure can happen again.
“That is the best service I think I can give to the people of Stafford.
"I can't, of course, comment on what the hospital is like today, but if these problems had not been brought to light, I think people in Stafford need to reflect on the fact that they might well have continued to be going to a hospital in ignorance of some of the things that had been happening there.
"I have paid tribute to Cure the NHS and their courage raising these issues and persisting in them to enable these two inquiries to take place and I think the people of Stafford and nationally owe them a great debt of thanks.”