Stafford Hospital pays out £1m over care failings

image caption, A public inquiry will start later this month

More than £1m compensation has been paid to 98 families of patients who suffered poor treatment at Stafford Hospital, it revealed.

The claims were settled after an independent inquiry looked into care at the hospital between 2005 and 2008.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust said it paid a total of £1,029,000 over "poor nursing and dignity issues".

Some campaigners said they took the legal route because the hospital was not honest about care received.

A Healthcare Commission report in 2009 found about 400 more people died at the hospital between 2005 and 2008 than would be expected.

'Appalling care'

It led to two independent inquiries which found evidence of neglect.

Anthony Sumara, Chief Executive of the trust, said solicitors Leigh Day had acted on behalf of the 98 families.

The firm represented the campaign group Cure the NHS at the inquiry earlier this year.

Mr Sumara said 65 claims ranging from £1,500 to £27,000 were settled in July.

He said a further 33 cases with a total sum of £369,000 were settled on 27 October.

He added the claims would be covered by the hospital's insurers.

Mr Sumara said: "As always, I offer our sincerest apologies to the families concerned, for the distress caused by the poor care their relatives received at our trust in the past.

"We have made a lot of progress over the last year in improving the care for our patients and will continue to focus our efforts on building on these improvements and making sure that they are sustained."

Julie Bailey from Cure the NHS said "few people" would have taken the legal option if the hospital had "been honest" in the first place and tried to rectify its "appalling care".

A public inquiry looking into previous standards of care at the hospital begins on 8 November.

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