Cameron defends NHS boss

David Cameron has defended NHS boss Sir David Nicholson over the Francis Report findings into failings of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust. Families have put pressure on the PM to sack Sir David.

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Report: Nine out of ten want NHS boss to resign

The Daily Mail has reported that a web poll has found nine out of ten health professionals want Sir David Nicholson to resign as NHS chief executive.

According to the paper, nearly 2,000 nurses, managers and other senior NHS staff were spoken to, with more than 90 per cent of them saying he should step down.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Roy Liley, a health policy analyst said:

It is clear he no longer enjoys the support of front-line staff.

As stories of quality horrors, bullying and service dislocation emerge, it would seem time to recognise Sir David's huge contribution to the NHS in the past but make it clear he is not the man to take the NHS into the future.

Last night David Cameron defended Sir David, when he was questioned by reporters in India.

Cameron defends NHS boss over Stafford hospital

David Cameron has defended NHS boss Sir David Nicholson over last week's findings by the Francis Report into failings of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust.

Relatives of those who died at the hospital have been placing pressure on the Prime Minister to sack Sir David, who was the head of the Trusts' Regional Health Authority at the time.

David Cameron on Sir David Nicholson: "I am impressed with the grip and grasp he has on the NHS" Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Speaking last night in India, Mr Cameron said Sir David was doing "a very good job".

"I would remind you of what the report says, that we should not be seeking scapegoats. I think to highlight David Nicholson in that way would be seeking a scapegoat."

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Healthcare assistant 'dragged patient' at Stafford hospital

A healthcare assistant at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital has been found to have dragged an elderly dementia patient around by his pyjamas and to have called him an animal.

Bonka Kostova was found to have physically and verbally abused the 73-year-old patient including telling him "you are no longer a human being but an animal" - or words to that effect.

Kostova was suspended from working at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust pending today's tribunal at the Midwifery Council in central London.

Death rates at nine hospitals trusts to be investigated

Earlier this month Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh announced an investigation into hospitals mortality rates.

Sir Bruce had identified an initial list of five organisations that had been outliers for two years on the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI), today he has announced the final list to be investigated:

  • North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Northern Lincolnshireand Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Dudley Group NHS FT
  • Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS FT
  • Medway NHS FT
  • Burton Hospitals NHS FT

These hospitals are already working closely with a range of regulators. If there were concerns that services were unsafe the regulators should have intervened.

The purpose of my investigation is to assure patients, public and Parliament that these hospitals understand why they have a high mortality and have all the support they need to improve. This will be a thorough and rigorous process, involving patients, clinicians, regulators and local organisations.

– Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director

Hunt ‘urges police to probe NHS Stafford scandal’

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is reported to have called on the police to investigate the hundreds of deaths attributed to the Mid Staffordshire hospital trust.

The Francis report into failings at Stafford Hospital, published on Wednesday, called for urgent reform of the NHS.

Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt has spoken out following a public inquiry. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Hunt told the Daily Telegraph: “This was a public inquiry designed to help us understand why the system didn’t pick up what went wrong but I think it is absolutely disgraceful with all those things happening, whether it is doctors, nurses or managers, nobody has been held to account.”

Asked whether the findings should be handed to the police, he added: “It’s there for the police – and it’s there for the professional bodies, the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, to look at and they should do that.”

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Higher than 'expected' deaths at NHS trusts

by - Deputy Political Editor

Six NHS trusts recorded deaths rates that were higher than average in 2011-2012. Here is a breakdown of the numbers of deaths above what would be "expected":

  • Walsall NHS Trust - 172
  • Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - 170
  • Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust - 274
  • Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - 352
  • Wye Valley NHS Trust - 142
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust - 206

Read: Total of 11 trusts 'causing concern' over death rates

Total of 11 trusts 'causing concern' over death rates

by - Deputy Political Editor

There were a total of 11 trusts where the death rates were "causes for concern" in 2011-2012.

The five trusts that were named yesterday are those that scored poorly over two consecutive years.

But the other six we have now identified scored poorly in 2011-2012 but not in 2010-2011.

I have calculated that across the six trusts there were 1,316 "actual" deaths above the "expected" number in the most recent set of figures. The additional six trusts are:

  • Walsall NHS Trust
  • Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wye Valley NHS Trust
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Read: NHS: Mortality rates at five trusts to be investigated

Head of Mid Staffs inquiry: Not my job to point fingers

Robert Francis QC, the chairman of the inquiry into the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, told ITV News today that it was not his job to demand resignations.

He met the families of some of the people who died at Stafford Hospital to hear why they are calling for the head of the NHS to quit.

ITV News' Special Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports from Stafford:

Read: Stafford Hospital report calls for 'zero tolerance' approach to poor care

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