Obviously the problems at Stafford are complex and I have no hope of summarising everything in one. For my first stab I go back to the first report by Francis in 2009, it is interesting to go back this far as some of the key messages and themes recurred in 2013's report. Here is recommendation 4 from 2009:
"Recommendation 4: The Trust, in conjunction with the Royal Colleges, the Deanery and the nursing school at Staffordshire University, should review its training programmes for all staff to ensure that high-quality professional training and development is provided at all levels and that high-quality service is
recognised and valued. "
Then one sifts through the lengthy document and finds some rather key comments concerning the regulation of training:
"72. I received a set of comments about the lack of any system requiring regular monitoring or approval visits by the various clinical Royal Colleges or the general medical and nursing councils.
73. In a letter to the Inquiry the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said that it had had no involvement in the Trust since its visit in 2002. Responsibility for visiting and approving hospitals for training passed in 2006 to the Postgraduate Medical Education Training Board.
74. In another letter, the Royal College of Physicians referred to representations it had made to the Health Select Committee about the loss of regular visits to trusts in the early 2000s. These were linked to medical training but “were a valuable source of intelligence about clinical issues locally”. The letter also said that “[the] Royal Colleges’ professional networks are invaluable” in cases falling between those resolved locally and those that are reported to regulators.
75. Royal Colleges do continue to operate an invited review system. The Royal College of Surgeons conducted reviews at the Trust in 2007 and 2009. "
I don't want to force opinions into your heads, just read through the above and consider things for a moment. I shall be back with Part 2.