I wrote on Saturday about the Francis Report into the Mid Staffs NHS (MSNHS) ‘failings’ and tragedy, and the reasons why David Cameron was remarkably circumspect in his statement in the Commons on Wednesday. Robert Francis’ lengthy investigation into the events at the Trust have identified a number of contributing causes, and recommends a number of measures to reduce the chances of a repeat of them.

The government’s circumspection is partly because it would be easy for the opposition to accuse it of exactly the same attitudes and failings that Mr Francis identified at the Mid Staffs Trust, but even more because the precedent set by the recent Lewisham downgrade decision allows the Tories an alternative route to erode NHS services in preparation for privatisation.

They can therefore afford to eat a little ‘humble pie’ now, in order to soften the impact of any fallout from the continuing investigations into…

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