Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... Cure The NHS vs Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust

Protesters: Cure The NHS
Target: Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust
Location: Stafford
Date: 6 January

The lowdown

More than a dozen NHS reform campaigners braved the snow to protest outside the final day of an independent inquiry into Stafford Hospital. The hospital came under intense scrutiny last March when a damning report from the Healthcare Commission detailed a catalogue of failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Why the protest?

The chairman of the inquiry ruled last year that the probe should be held in private, which angered many relatives of patients who died. Cure The NHS subsequently launched a campaign for a full public inquiry into the hospital.

How did the NHS respond?

No formal response has been given by the trust while the inquiry has been ongoing, as it was not deemed appropriate. However, the inquiry chairman, Robert Francis QC, has defended the decision to hold the inquiry in private, as it is dealing with 'confidential information and sensitive personal issues'.

How did the media cover it?

The protest was covered sympathetically by the Birmingham Mail, which quoted Cure The NHS member Ken Lownds extensively. BBC News covered the story evenly, including comment from Francis. Elsewhere, The Independent and the local Express and Star covered the inquiry, but excluded details of the demonstration.

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