Speaking on ITV’s Daybreak this morning, health minister Norman Lamb said he the news that the NHS has spent £2m on at least 52 gagging orders is “scandalous”. Lamb said the coalition are introducing the Lib Dem manifesto commitment duty of candour – an obligation to report certain adverse incidents to some patients and families.
When asked if NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson should step down, Lamb said he must be “answerable for what he said” and will wait to see what happens at his hearing before the public accounts committee at 2.15pm today.
Conservative MP Steve Barclay thinks Nicholson should resign. Speaking to the Telegraph, he said:
It is simply not plausible that the man who was supposed to be running the NHS was seemingly unaware that employees threatening to speak out were being offered golden goodbyes in return for a vow of silence….
The culture in the NHS needs to change, he has to stand down now. What patient safety concerns have been covered up (by these gagging orders)? How many lives have been put at risk?