Thursday, 25 February 2010
Stafford Hospital Management
Much is said in the MSM and blogs today about one of the worst hospital scandals, in which up to 1,200 patients died in Stafford Hospital. An independent inquiry found that managers at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs.
What hasn't been highlighted much is the fact that two Chief Executives of West Midlands Strategic Health Authority, responsible for Stafford hospital during 2005 until 2009, have been promoted.
David Nicolson, who was Chair and Chief Executive of West Midlands SHA until 2006, is now Chief Executive of the English NHS.
Cynthia Bower, who replaced him in 2006, was promoted, in 2009, to head of the health super-regulator the Care Quality Commission.
No one on the board of West Mids. SHA has faced censure and all of them were either paid off, walked into another job or allowed to remain in post.
This is a where the problem lies with the NHS. Not only are politicians setting unachievable targets but NHS management is in no way concerned with patients only budgets. Not one has taken responsibility for their incompetence, in fact they have benefitted from it.
Surely every person in England must be very concerned that the two top positions within the England health care system are currently managed by these two people who were responsible for Stafford Hospital during the years of complete patient neglect.
Stafford is not the only hospital that has put lives at risk in recent years. Basildon and Colchester hospitals were also discovered to have jeopardised patient safety in 2009. The failure in Stafford is not just the story of one badly run hospital, but the failure of a regulatory system that did little to sound the alarm. It was the Healthcare Commission (now the Care Quality Commission) which did, in the end, sound the alarm after being alerted to the higher than usual death rates. Ms Bower, who was in charge of Stafford hospital from 2006-2009, is now of course in charge of the CQC.
If I lived in England I would have emailed my MP and MEP by now to inform them of my disquiet about English health care and the people running it. It's time the public said "enough".