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UHCW Response to Francis Report

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UHCW continues to respond to the Francis Report and others

Hard Truths: The Journey to Putting Patients First1 is the Government’s formal response to the Francis Report2 and other related reviews and inquiries that have been published since February 2013.

In April 2013, UHCW’s Trust Board received a report detailing its proposed response to the 290 recommendations in this national Directive. The Trust committed to:

In support, the Chief Executive led a series of briefings for staff and external partners, such as the local Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee of Coventry City Council, reaching out to more than 1200 attendees.

The Trust also assessed itself against both the broad principles highlighted by Francis and the detail of relevant individual recommendations, reinforcing its values to:

Subsequent national reports, such as Berwick3 and Keogh4, have reinforced these principles. As a consequence, their recommendations have been incorporated into an integrated response to Francis in an Action Plan.

Of the original Francis recommendations, 81 were considered to be directly relevant to the Trust. Integration of the action plan resulted in a total of 101 recommendations to be considered by responsible officers. Executive and corporate leads have since been working to provide full assurance against each one. The Francis et al Steering Group was established to oversee the progress of the Action Plan and it has met regularly over the last 15 months. Its task is to ensure the Trust delivers a coherent, system wide response, building on existing initiatives and avoiding duplication of effort. The Quality Governance Committee has responsibility for monitoring progress and regular reports have been made to the Trust’s Chief Officers’ Group and the Trust Board, with the latest report being considered by the Trust Board at its February meeting in 2015.

At the present time, of the 101 relevant recommendations, 59 are closed, 26 are waiting to be closed and 26 remain open. Those that are still open are being actively progressed by responsible executives and corporate leads.

Significant milestones in the Trust’s response have included the review of its Quality Strategy in 2014, a review of how the Trust engages with patients and the public, improved staff ‘Impressions’ survey and implementation of a review of Human Resource policies and procedures to ensure they comply with the duty of candour and support values based recruitment. An integrated Quality Report provides a user friendly dashboard that helps clinicians, managers and executives focus on the potential for improving clinical effectiveness and patient experience. The Trust’s organisational development programme, Together Towards World Class, makes explicit the values and behaviours expected of its staff and now at its first birthday, this initiative continues to underpin the way the organisation delivers services to its patients and its community.

The full implications of Francis et al continue to emerge and evolve with, for example, Freedom to Speak Up5 – the new guidance on whistle blowing within the NHS - has recently being published. The impact continues to be significant, making NHS organisations more open and transparent. UHCW does, and will continue to, embrace new ways of ensuring the patient’s view is at the heart of the development and delivery of its services. The forthcoming Inspection of UHCW by the Chief of Hospitals will provide further opportunity to showcase its commitment to its patients, staff and local community.


1: Hard Truths: The Journey to Putting Patients First (DH November 2013)

2: Report of the Public Inquiry into Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust chaired by Sir Robert Francis QC (DH February 2013)

3: A promise to learn– a commitment to act: Improving the Safety of Patients in England: National Advisory Group on the Safety of Patients in England Chaired by Don Berwick (DH August 2013)

4: Review into the quality of care and treatment provided by 14 hospital trusts in England. Professor Sir Bruce Keogh. July 2015

5: Freedom to Speak Up – report by Sir Robert Francis QC. February 2015

Page updated February 2015

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