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On 6 February 2013 the much-awaited Francis report1 into events at Mid Staffordshire hospital was published. The 1782 pages within it are mandatory reading for all clinicians working in emergency departments.
What makes particularly difficult reading are the stories that tell of the absence of basic human kindness shown to some of the most vulnerable patients and the subsequent disinterest in their relatives who rightly complained. We acknowledge that what occurred at Mid Staffordshire is not isolated to this organisation; colleagues will have witnessed incidents or be aware of similar concerns within their own hospitals or departments. Each of us has our own stories to tell—as will many of …
Contributors Both authors proposed the idea of a short editorial. SMR wrote the first draft after extensive discussion of the Francis report with RB, who subsequently made significant contributions to the content of the editorial.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.