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Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

Volume 490: debated on Monday 23 March 2009

Application for emergency debate (Standing Order No. 24)

I seek leave to move the Adjournment of the House to discuss a specific and important matter, which I believe should have urgent consideration, namely Parliament’s response to the Healthcare Commission’s report on Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Last Wednesday, the Health Secretary made a statement to the House in response to the report and answered hon. Members’ questions for an hour. That was the right thing to do. He proposed several actions, which were the appropriate responses to the report. However, two things have happened since then, which make me ask the House for an urgent debate.

First, I returned to my constituency on Thursday evening, and since then further accounts have been given to me and others of poor care at the hospital. Given that the Healthcare Commission’s report states that improvements have been made and that the trust is safe, it is important to do everything possible to reinforce that statement straight away. In a debate, I would call for Professor Sir George Alberti’s review, which is due to start this week, to be expanded to cover all parts of the hospital, not only emergency care, and, therefore, for him to head a multidisciplinary team to support the current interim leadership, the senior managers and the hospital staff as they ensure that all the improvements for which the commission’s report calls are carried out and maintained.

Secondly, there are growing calls for a public inquiry, which I support for four reasons: to help the new regulator, who is about to replace the Healthcare Commission, to understand how one trust kept its failures from being discovered for so long; to anchor the work that has been promised concerning an independent assessment of medical records; to ascertain what lessons can be learned for the future about how the hospital conducted nurse training, patient-staff ratios, supervision and monitoring of hospital services, and to ascertain what lessons can be learned for the future about the arrangements in the past at the hospital for public and patient involvement in decision making, supervision and monitoring, and whether those lessons can apply to systems throughout the NHS.

To me, the question of a public inquiry is big enough to merit a debate in the House, but the two issues together make the matter urgent and worthy of debate now.

I have listened carefully to the hon. Gentleman and I have to give my decision without stating any reasons. I am afraid that I do not consider the matter that he has raised appropriate for discussion under Standing Order No. 24 and I cannot, therefore, submit the application to the House.

Bill presented

Short Selling and Bank Accounts Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Mr. Frank Field, supported by Ms Sally Keeble, Mark Fisher, Mr. Graham Allen, Mr. Jim Hood, Mr. Gordon Prentice, John Mann, Mr. Peter Kilfoyle, David Taylor, Dr. Tony Wright, Jim Sheridan and Mr. Peter Hain presented a Bill to prohibit short selling; to require disclosure by pension funds and their trustees of records of loans of their shares for the purpose of short selling, and of the fees received in such cases; to require banks and building societies to offer their retail customers current and savings accounts free of any charge for holding the accounts when such accounts are in credit; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 19 June, and to be printed (Bill 79).