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Bill Cash MP
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Bill Cash MP talks of “significant step forward” with inquiry on Stafford Hospital

Press release 20/07/09 (Embargoed until Tuesday 21st July, 9.30 a.m.)  

Bill Cash MP and other Staffordshire MPs have been informed this afternoon that there will be an independent public inquiry chaired by senior lawyer into the tragedy at Stafford Hospital. The exact terms of reference have not been finalised but it is clear that there will be a serious analysis of where things went wrong in specific cases and more generally, it would be in the nature of a hybrid inquiry, part-private/ part-public. The witnesses will be expected to attend the inquiry and the production of papers will be required and if necessary, evidence on oath may need to be taken.
Bill Cash said: “This is a significant step forward and given the fact that the Healthcare Commission have already reported, the necessity for a lengthy inquiry had been reduced.
“What is essential is that the whole tragedy is properly looked into and lessons learned both for the hospital itself and justice for the patients, the victims and the bereaved, and the National Health Service as a whole.”

Bill Cash MP says independent inquiry over Mid Staffs NHS is a “major step forward” with reservations over terms of reference

Press release 21/07/09       

Bill Cash MP said “The granting of an independent inquiry is a major step forward. The independent inquiry that I have fought for, and I was the first in Parliament to call for, has been granted.
“However, there are a number of reservations and I will certainly represent those victims or families of the bereaved who feel that the inquiry process does not adequately deal with their case. We will have to see how it works.
“Furthermore, will the inquiry provide real lessons for the target-driven National Health Service as a whole? The terms of reference have not made that clear. We will have to see how the inquiry works."

Bill Cash MP responds to Dr Foster's new hospital safety guide

Press release 30/11/09

Following the release of Dr Foster's new hospital safety guide, Bill Cash said:
“When I first called for a full public inquiry and for the recognition of the failures at Stafford Hospital, it was clear that the situation reflected a larger problem in regulatory arrangements and that the failures were not merely isolated to Stafford Hospital. It is clear that other hospitals should not have been given Foundation Trust status.
“As the Cure the NHS group have mentioned, I do not see the protests ending until all NHS acute trusts implement a zero harm approach and successfully deliver that approach.
“On the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust situation, I raised many regulatory concerns with the Secretary of State relating to the Care Quality Commission, the Healthcare Commission and Monitor.
“The critical problem is self-assessment – which the Healthcare Commission report on Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust criticised – at the root of many other problems. It is about time everyone began concentrating on this challenge. It was clear from early investigations into Stafford Hospital that it was Government policy to revert to local assessment, rather than external assessment.
“It is hardly surprising that hospitals are receiving plaudits because one of the key problems, apart from lack of efficiency and care, is the question of self-assessment. It is totally ridiculous that hospitals assess themselves as part of the regulatory process in this way.”
“It is about time that the Secretary of State woke up and acted on the questions I raised in Parliament.”

Bill Cash MP requests meeting with Chairman of Stafford Hospital inquiry

Press release 24/07/09 

Bill Cash has asked Mr. Robert Francis QC for a meeting to discuss the procedure which would be followed at the inquiry. Bill Cash has continuously called for a 2005 Act inquiry if the problems at Stafford Hospital have not been resolved by the time of the next General Election. Mr. Cash has stated that the inquiry which has been set up is a step in the right direction but has expressed his concern about the terms of reference.

Mr. Cash is seeking a discussion with the Chairman of the Inquiry regarding the procedure to be followed, in order to maximise the opportunity to look at the issue of governance and accountability in respect of past performance of the statutory authorities and those involved in the decision-making process as well as victims and the bereaved.
He notes that the Secretary of State as agreed with Bill Cash that an upgrade to a 2005 Act inquiry, in order to compel witnesses on oath and the production of papers, has not been ruled out and therefore a discussion with the Chairman of the inquiry to determine the procedure to be followed with Bill Cash and others is important in order to identify the way forward when Mr. Francis has had an opportunity to consider all aspects of and the nature of the inquiry.

Bill Cash MP raises concerns over temporary overnight closure of Stafford Hospital A&E Department

 Press release 14/11/2011

Following the proposed temporary overnight closure of the A&E department beginning in December, MP for Stone, Bill Cash said:
“It has become clear that the A&E Department has not been able to recruit the necessary doctors and that the services of the military emergency medicine personnel have been put in place for a temporary period. 
“My constituents find the subsequent introduction of a temporary overnight closure of the Department unacceptable and I remain gravely concerned.
“I am taking those concerns up urgently with the Secretary of State for Health and the Chief Executive of the Trust to make clear that the night-time closure of the Department is unacceptable.” 

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