The Sunday Telegraph understands that the report on Stafford hospital, where up to 1,200 people died needlessly in appalling conditions, will call for an overhaul of regulation to ensure poor managers are weeded out, and better training for nurses and healthcare assistants.
The chairman, Robert Francis QC, is set to deliver a damning verdict on the whole of the health service.
He will warn of a “culture of fear” from Whitehall down to the wards, in which pressure is heaped on staff to put management demands before patients.
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said the events at Stafford, and a series of failings at other hospitals, represented “the most shocking betrayal of NHS founding values in its history”.
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Hunt said five hospitals, including Stafford, had reported failings in recent years “that are simply not worthy of a civilised society”.
As the Scotsman reports, “emergency” does not necessarily mean “urgent” when defined by the NHS:
HOSPITALS are suffering a major winter crisis with patients having to spend up to 12 hours on trolleys before being properly treated, senior doctors have warned.
Consultants have told Scotland on Sunday that accident and emergency units are facing “exceptional pressure” and are failing to meet government targets on ensuring that every patient is either admitted or discharged within a maximum of four hours after arrival.
Medics say they having to deal with a larger number of unwell elderly people than in previous years, with further pressure on bedspace coming from a nationwide outbreak of norovirus that has closed 18 wards in 14 hospitals over the last week.
The national target is aimed at ensuring that 98 per cent of patients spend less than four hours from arrival to admission, discharge or transfer.
Last January, departments were managing to get around 94 per cent of patients seen within the four-hour period but doctors said that the target has been missed by significant margins on some days over recent weeks.