NHS boss Nicholson to retire

NHS boss Sir David Nicholson plans to retire in March next year, NHS England said today.

Latest ITV News reports

Campaigner: Nicholson has not accepted responsibility

Cure the NHS campaigner Julie Bailey said NHS boss Sir David Nicholson had not accepted responsibility for what happened at Stafford and is simply "waiting for his retirement".

"We're disappointed that he's not going immediately to be honest", she said, "this man presided over the biggest disaster in the history of the NHS, he'll be leaving with a huge pension pot and with his knighthood intact but he'll be going eventually and then we can start to cure the NHS."

Nicholson will leave NHS with '£2 million pension pot'

The Telegraph claims that retiring NHS boss David Nicholson will leave with a £2 million pension pot.

Chief Executive of the NHS, David Nicholson, will reportedly leave the service with a £2 million pension pot.
Chief Executive of the NHS, David Nicholson, will reportedly leave the service with a £2 million pension pot. Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA

The paper says that Sir David, 57: "earns £290,000 a year including performance bonuses and “benefits in kind”, has also been criticised over his expenses claims, with almost £50,000 claimed during 2011-12 in travel expenses."

Read more: Head of the health service in England is to retire

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NHS boss Sir David Nicholson to retire next year

The Head of the NHS in England, Sir David Nicholson, has said he will retire early next year.

Sir David oversaw one of the service's worst ever scandals in Mid-Staffordshire, where he admitted to personal failings - but at the time he resisted calls to resign.One MP said today, she was 'sickened' that he will now be able to leave on his own terms.

Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:

Sir David Nicholson 'planned his departure a month ago'

The letter announcing his retirement of Sir David Nicholson suggests he planned his departure more than a month-and-a-half ago.

Although it is dated May 21, one paragraph says: "In getting ourselves ready for the 1 April 2013 we should..." which implies that the letter was drafted before April 1 - the day that the controversial NHS reforms were implemented.

Sir David Nicholson has announced his intention to retire next year. Credit: Press Association.

Sir David goes on to say that he has stayed in the role to oversee NHS reforms come into place.

He thanks NHS England's chair Professor Sir Malcolm Grant for support and understanding "with regard to the complexity of my role".

Professor Grant replied: "Thank you for your letter conveying your intention to retire as CEO of NHS England. I was sorry but not surprised to have it.

"Your career within the NHS over 35 years has been exceptional, and your leadership through the radical changes of the past two years has been fundamental to their success."

Praise for Sir David Nicholson from NHS confederation

Commenting on the announcement by NHS boss Sir David Nicholson that he will retire next year, Chief executive of the NHS Confederation Mike Farrar said:

"Despite the difficulties of recent months, today's announcement provides an opportunity to focus on Sir David's contribution to the NHS over the past three decades, the significant achievements over the lifetime of his career and during his time as the chief executive of the NHS.

Chief executive of the NHS Confederation Mike Farrar. Credit: Melanie Edgar/PA Wire

"Sir David came into office as NHS chief executive in 2006 and immediately led a major recovery from the deficit that the health service faced at that time.

"Over subsequent years he led the delivery of a remarkable reduction in waiting times for urgent and elective care, with access to treatment improving faster than almost any comparable health system.

"There have been significant improvements in patient outcomes and a huge reduction in healthcare acquired infections. In recent years, he presided over the largest structural reform in the history of the NHS."

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Number 10: 'It was Nicholson's decision to retire'

Asked for David Cameron's response to Sir David Nicholson's retirement and assessment of his record, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "He agrees with the Secretary of State for Health."

Mr Cameron's view of Sir David was "unchanged" since the PM responded to the Francis report on Mid-Staffordshire, said the spokesman.

He said he was not aware of ministers discussing the NHS chief's departure with Sir David in advance, adding: "It is his decision to retire."

NHS campaigner: 'This is start of the cure for the NHS'

Julie Bailey, from the campaign group Cure The NHS, has led the calls for Sir David Nicholson to resign.

Cure the NHS campaigner Julie Bailey has led the calls for Sir David Nicholson to resign. Credit: Press Association

Ms Bailey, who set up the group after her mother Bella died at Stafford Hospital in 2007, said that since the Mid Staffordshire public inquiry report was published, Sir David's position had been "untenable", adding: "It is fantastic news.

"This is the start of the cure for the NHS.

"We can start to look to the future now. He was part of the problem - not part of the solution.

"We now need a leader who will galvanise and inspire the front line, not bully them."

NHS boss' 'profound regret' over failures

Sir David Nicholson has written a letter outlining his intention to retire in March next year to the chair of NHS England Professor Malcolm Grant. In it he writes:

Whilst I believe we have made significant progress together under my leadership, recent events continue to show that on occasion the NHS can still sometimes fail patients, their families and carers. This continues to be a matter of profound regret to me but please know that on a daily basis I continue, and will always continue, to be inspired and moved by the passion that those who work in the NHS continue to show.

– Sir David Nicholson

Read Sir David Nicholson's letter in full here

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