NHS changes 'will help Stafford Hospital' government says

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Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has told MPs government plans to overhaul the health service will help improve conditions at Stafford Hospital.

Mr Lansley spoke as MPs debated the changes which include plans for all primary care trusts to be disbanded.

He claimed it would help health professionals at Stafford where a report into hundreds of deaths found "appalling" care standards.

He said GPs knew about the hospital's standards but could not intervene.

The health secretary said: "There was never the transparency in outcomes, there was never the responsibility collectively on the part of the general practices and local health professionals to intervene.

"There was never the mechanisms which enable and incentivised them to do so.

"So we are going to change that."

A public inquiry is being held into the higher-than-expected number of deaths at the hospital between 2005 and 2008.

It follows a Healthcare Commission report in 2009 which found there were more deaths than should have been expected between 2005 and 2008 due to "appalling standards" of care.

Correction 12 April 2011: This report has been amended to remove figures for the number of deaths which were taken from a leaked document rather than the Healthcare Commission report.

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