The Francis Public Inquiry Report: a response

This Nuffield Trust policy response offers an analysis of several key themes from the Francis report.


Published: 14/03/2013

Download the report [PDF 264.2KB]

This Nuffield Trust policy response offers an analysis of several key themes from the Francis report where the Trust has expertise including funding, patient-level data, commissioning and regulation.

Following publication of his final report, Robert Francis QC spoke at the Health Policy Summit 2013 where he outlined the main findings and the challenges they pose for those working in the health service.

Following a public inquiry, on 6 February 2013 Robert Francis QC published his report into failings at The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. This Nuffield Trust policy response analyses several of the recommendations and key themes.

Focusing on those areas where the Nuffield Trust has particular expertise, the paper strongly endorses the Inquiry Report’s main message that listening to and understanding patients must come first. 

The Francis report is a powerful reminder that we need a renewed focus on hearing and understanding what patients are saying Ruth Thorlby, Senior Fellow, Nuffield Trust

Recommendations made in the report include:

  • making the development of standards for the care of vulnerable older patients the first priority;
  • giving responsibility for leading the development of standards of care to the Care Quality Commission, with participation from patients, health care staff, and other relevant stakeholders;
  • using NHS recruitment, induction and appraisal processes to promote the values of the NHS Constitution and to raise awareness of the Constitution among staff;
  • clarifying the regulatory arrangements for health providers; and
  • enhancing the role of routinely collected, real-time data as a means of measuring care quality. 

For information about how Nuffield Trust researchers supported the Public Inquiry and our planned future activities in this area, visit our dedicated project page.

Suggested citation

Nuffield Trust (2013) The Francis Public Inquiry Report: a response. Policy response.