The hospital trust which was severely criticised following the deaths of 1,200 patients at Stafford Hospital has been awarded a £398,000 grant to improve how it handles complaints.
Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust won one of only eight grants from the Health Foundation.
Cash will be used for a project to bring in local people to act as advocates during the complaints process, in order to develop more trust between hospital managers and the community.
An inquiry found up to 1,200 patients needlessly died at Stafford Hospital, run by the Trust, due to staffing cutbacks and a priority to break even.
The project involves the Patients Association, the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death and educational charity, the Pilgrim Project.
Another phase of the project is to introduce external scrutiny to complaints responses by forming expert panels, again from the local community, to review samples of more complex complaints.
Julie Hendry, the trust’s director of quality & patient experience, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this grant.
“We hope that this model, once up and running, will be copied by other Trusts around the country to improve the way they liaise with their local communities in all complaints handling.
“We want Mid-Staffordshire to be held up as an example of best practice in the way it provides answers to patients and families.”