NHS chief executive may go

Reports suggest that NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson may be departing:

The Telegraph has learnt that senior Government figures are considering a plan for Sir David Nicholson to “pre-announce” his retirement as chief executive.

(Telegraph)

This follows a devastating report on procedures at Mid Staffordshire hospital. Reform's Thomas Cawston wrote for City A.M. on the scandal:

In an impressive, exhaustive 2,000 page study, the result of 18 months’ work and £13m, Francis exposed poor care, the neglect of patients and the victimisation of staff who raised concerns. Mid Staffordshire may not be the rule, but it is far from the exception in the NHS, a point backed up by a slew of recent scandals. In this respect, this tragedy is the tragedy of history repeating itself.

(Full article)

Editor Allister Heath has argued that it is vital that the tragedy of Mid Staffordshire is not forgotten:

It is certainly ridiculous that the story [the horsemeat scandal] has a much greater public profile than the deadly and still growing scandal engulfing the NHS. What has happened in some of Britain’s hospitals, as detailed in the shocking Francis report last week, is a genuine catastrophe, the sort of scandal that ought to be epoch-defining and lead to drastic changes in policies and attitudes. Thousands of people have died in vain, often in horrid, inhumane conditions; yet more hospitals are being dragged into the fray, with 14 hospitals now being investigated.

So the real question remains: why has nobody been prosecuted for negligence at the NHS? Why has nobody resigned? Astonishingly, the chief executive retains his job. Why are the Libor and horse meat scandals still grabbing a disproportionate share of the national conversation, and attracting all the venom, while the mass slaughter in some hospitals is being met with astonishing cool? Where is the outrage about rewards for failure, high pay and the rest at affected hospitals? Where are the televised grillings by MPs? There is something wrong here. This is no time for double standards.

(Full article)