Where is the Debate on Stafford Hospital?

Stafford hospitalToday’s Opposition debate in the House of Commons was on the horsemeat fraud currently affecting food sales in the UK and whilst this is an important issue, it is not life threatening.

Surely a far better subject for debate for MP’s would be the Francis Report on Stafford Hospital, but then again as Labour were in power between 2005 and 2008 when the scandal hit the patients and their families.

Hopefully the Leader of the House of Commons, Andrew Lansley MP, will listen to Christopher Pincher’s request last week to hold a debate on Stafford.

During Business Questions Mr Pincher said, “If the Backbench Business Committee is good enough to grant a debate on the scandal at Stafford hospital, will my right hon. Friend avoid arranging any Government statements for that day, so that we can have a full debate about the implications of the Francis report?  After what we learned yesterday about the culture of box-ticking managerialism at the hospital, it seems to me that those people who close their eyes to reform of the NHS should open them and let us get on with it.”

Mr Lansley responded, “Of course my hon. Friend understands that we always endeavour to keep the House fully informed of announcements of Government policy, through the means of statements, and to seek not to impede the business of the House.  That always involves a balance, and we will endeavour to strike it well.

“I understand his point that many Members, understandably, feel strongly about what Robert Francis had to say in his report.  I feel strongly about it, because it demonstrates that appointing Robert Francis to undertake that public inquiry was absolutely the right thing to do.

“It also points clearly to the kind of changes in culture and behaviour that the NHS needs now and has needed for a long time.  This is not about the structures, because in the course of the past two and half years we in this House have given the NHS the structures it needs.

“In the introduction to his report, Robert Francis makes it clear that we now need to achieve those culture changes within the structure of the new reforms and they can be achieved in that way.”

Hopefully the Government will find time to debate Stafford because it is now obvious that Labour will not be calling for one.

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