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Addressing MPs at the Health Select Committee yesterday NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson said he has no intention of resigning, despite admitting faults during the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal.
The meeting followed a collective call for 40 MPs for the NHS Chief to resign. A month earlier, a public inquiry had found that the deaths at the hospital had arisen because there was a target-driven culture which overlooked the care of patients.
Sir David was Head of Authority at the hospital for a 10-month period in 2005 and 2006, the time of the peak in clinical negligence which saw the death of hundreds of patients. He said there had been weaknesses and that patients had not always been a priority within the system.
Sir David said the government’s NHS reorganisation meant the health service had been in a vulnerable position but that he would steer through the changes.
He said that the leadership of the NHS had lost its focus because of the changes that were happening and that he would put his hands up to being part of that and will make sure that doesn’t happen again.
He added that target issues of cutting down waiting times in A & E were a narrow way of being accountable. He said that more transparency in the NHS would drive the changes needed.
David Cameron has declared his support for Sir David and said that he is ‘impressed with his knowledge and understanding of the NHS.
During the session, Sir David was asked what he would say to the families of the victims at the Mid Staffordshire hospital. He said: “All I can say in the circumstances they found themselves in is [to] acknowledge the hurt and the grief they must feel. To apologise on behalf of myself and the NHS.”
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Published 11th February 2015.