Robert Francis QC, who recently led the review of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust failings, and whose report marks a step change in NHS attitudes to care and quality, has agreed to become a Patron of The Florence Nightingale Foundation.
In taking on this new role, Mr Francis said: "I am very honoured to be asked to be a Patron of the Foundation. I believe that it is a beacon of everything which is valuable and admirable about the vocation of nursing. I look forward to supporting the Foundation in promoting the values and standards which are so important for high quality care for patients."
Foundation Chairman Bryan Sanderson said: “The Florence Nightingale Foundation is delighted to announce that Robert has consented to become a Patron. We are honoured to welcome such a distinguished advocate of all that is good in the health service. We look forward to working with him to further our objectives of improving patient care by our support for nurses and midwives."
Chief Executive Professor Elizabeth Robb said: “We are thrilled that Robert has agreed to be our Patron. Through his work, both during the Mid Staffs review and elsewhere in the health field, he has proven to be a true champion of the continuing drive for greater quality and accountability in the NHS. This chimes very much with our own stated aims of developing learning amongst our nurses and midwives and the need for evidence based, patient centred clinical care.”
Notes on Robert Francis QC
Robert Francis QC has been a barrister since 1973 and is a member of Serjeants Inn Chambers, 85 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1AE where he was co-head of chambers for 9½ years until 2009. He became a Queen’s Counsel in 1992. He is a Recorder [part time Crown Court judge] and authorised to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge. He is a governing Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, his Inn of Court, where he has chaired its Education and Training Committee.
He specialises in medical law, including medical treatment and capacity issues, clinical negligence and professional discipline, and has taken part in many leading cases in these fields. Cases of particular interest have included:
He is regularly instructed in clinical negligence actions by claimants, and for the defence by the NHS Litigation Authority and medical defence organisations. Many of these cases concern very serious injury and disability and can result in awards or settlements worth millions of pounds. He frequently acts for medical practitioners in cases brought by the General Medical Council.
He has either chaired or been counsel at many healthcare related inquiries including homicide inquiries. He appeared for parties at the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry, the Royal Liverpool Children’s Inquiry, and the Neale Inquiry. He chaired the Independent Inquiry into the Care provided by the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, and subsequently the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry.
He has acted as legal assessor or adviser to the professional conduct committees of the General Optical Council, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
He is a past Chairman of the Professional Negligence Bar Association and is a consultant editor of the Medical Law Reports. In 2008 he was Vice-Chairman of the Education and Training Committee of the General Council of the Bar, and a member of Lord Neuberger’s working party on entry to the Bar, which brought about significant improvements in social mobility for those entering the profession. He is co-author of Medical Treatment Decisions and the Law (Francis & Johnston: Butterworths 2001, 2nd edition 2009).
In 2013 he was appointed the honorary President of the Patients Association. He is a trustee of the Point of Care Foundation, a charity which promotes and disseminates learning and methods of supporting healthcare staff to provide high standard care, including Schwartz Center Rounds. He was formerly a trustee of the Peper Harow Foundation [now Childhood First] a charity providing residential care, advice and assistance for the benefit of behaviourally disturbed young people.