Michael Fabricant today (Wednesday 18th March) questioned Alan Johnson
MP – Secretary of State for Health – on the Stafford Hospital issue.
Alan Johnson said that the Healthcare Commission investigates the period
The following is taken from Hansard:
Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con): But these issues precede 2002. It
is to my great regret that I was told by Staffordshire Ambulance
paramedics in 1999 that people would be far safer going to Burton than
to Stafford hospital. When I made inquiries about that, I was just
fobbed off like everyone else. What can the Secretary of State do now to
reassure my constituents that Burton, Good Hope and other hospitals, as
well as Stafford, are safe places to go to?
Alan Johnson: People have to look at what the Healthcare Commission
says. The Healthcare Commission has looked at all the so-called
outliers-hospitals that had a very high standardised mortality ratio-and
it is assured that the problems are not the same as at Stafford. The
Healthcare Commission has its own alert system, leaving aside the Dr.
Foster system, in which five red lights, as it were, went off about care
at Stafford hospital. That has not happened in Burton or other hospitals
around the country. I find it inconceivable that what happened could
have happened over such a long period, and the hon. Gentleman is
absolutely right: it probably went on for much longer. The hon. Member
for Stone (Mr. Cash) made the same point to me yesterday. However, we
now have the procedures in place and we have the Healthcare Commission,
and people can rest assured. Hon. Members in all parts of the House have
to ensure that there is no hiding place for poor patient care.