Just days after the Secretary of State for Health called for a Police investigation into Stafford Hospital, Staffordshire Police have said they are studying the Francis Report to see whether any criminal charges should be brought.
The Francis Report, which cost £13m, found abuse and neglect led to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of patients between 2005 and 2009.
Staffordshire Police said it would be reviewing the information “in order to identify whether there is any potential for criminal charges.” The announcement followed a meeting between the force and other groups.
Assistant Chief Constable Nick Baker chaired the meeting between representatives from police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
He said, “This is a very substantial report which we will link into what is already known by previous police investigations, to see if there are any additional investigative inquiries that are required.
“This will need to be a thorough, carefully considered process and will inevitably take some time. Throughout this process we will be contacting the appropriate patients’ representatives.”
Mr Baker said the force would be taking advice from the CPS to assist with the task.
Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, has apologised over appalling failures which meant basic of standards of care were so poor some patients’ relatives cleaned toilets themselves.
Last week, Jeremy Hunt MP said the police should investigate the deaths of patients at Stafford Hospital. He said it was “absolutely outrageous” that nobody had been “brought to book.”
Staffordshire Police previously said it had investigated two cases at the hospital but found no evidence to bring prosecutions.