Commons debates NHS failures

The political row between Labour and the Conservatives over 14 failing hospital trusts will continue for a second day in the House of Commons today.

NHS political row to continue in Commons today

Jeremy Hunt speaking in the Commons yesterday. Credit: PA

The political row between Labour and the Conservatives over 14 failing hospital trusts will continue for a second day in the House of Commons today.

Labour have tabled an Opposition Day motion which "recognises that the 14 Trusts investigated by Sir Bruce Keogh have seen increasing problems since May 2010".

It calls on the Government to publish the NHS transition risk register, which sets out the possible ramifications of the recent re-organisation.

The motion also states the Government's failure to implement key recommendations from a report earlier this year by Sir Robert Francis QC in to the horrific care standards at Stafford Hospital could make it more likely that there would be scandals at other hospitals in future.

NHS report sparks furious exchanges in the Commons

The Keogh report's publication sparked furious exchanges about the NHS in the House of Commons earlier today.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt accused his Labour predecessor of ignoring warnings and suppressing bad news.

He said Labour had created a culture where targets mattered more than people.

In response, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham accused the government of playing politics with people's lives.

ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby reports:

Read: Hunt - NHS culture changing


Labour: Government 'playing politics with people's lives'

The Keogh report into failures in NHS care in countries across the country has ignited a fierce debate between the government and Labour.

Read: Patient charity: Keogh report 'too late'

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says it amounted to "Labour's darkest moment", but his predecessor Andy Burnham accused the Government of "playing politics with people's lives", as Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports.

Read: Parties clash over NHS records in light on Keogh report

Call for minimum staffing levels at hospitals

Ministers have faced renewed calls for minimum staffing levels in hospitals after an NHS review found staff were too busy to deliver compassionate care to patients.

Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said:

There's an undeniable link between nurse staffing levels and patient mortality and we can't keep failing to address this issue.

Only with the right numbers of nurses, with the right skills, can we ensure patients are looked after with dignity and compassion.

– Dr Peter Carter

Patient charity: Keogh report 'too late'

A patient safety charity said hospitals criticised in Sir Bruce Keogh's NHS review should have been investigated "years ago".

Peter Walsh, chief executive of Action Against Medical Accidents, said:

It is scandalous that patients have lost their lives needlessly or been caused misery due to failings in basic care and the regulatory system that failed to act on warning signals.

The Keogh report has come too late for those patients. The hospitals concerned should have been investigated years ago when high mortality rates were already known about.

In spite of the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry, Ministers are still refusing to accept key recommendations such as minimum staffing levels for wards and regulation of healthcare assistants. We hope this report helps change their minds.

– Peter Walsh, Action Against Medical Accidents

More: The 11 hospital trusts placed in 'special measures'

Cameron: NHS 'completely safe' in Coalition hands

David Cameron said the NHS was "completely safe" in the Government's hands after 11 failing hospitals were placed under "special measures" management.

Speaking after Sir Bruce Keogh's damning review of hospitals, the Prime Minister said: "I think everyone can have confidence in the NHS and everyone can have confidence that their local hospital either is a good hospital or is being turned around and being made into a good hospital.

David Cameron said he "loves" the NHS. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

"There is much to celebrate in our NHS and I love our NHS, and I never want to do it any harm, but we don't serve our NHS by covering up problems and difficulties and clearly there are some hospitals with too-high mortality rates."


Jeremy Hunt: A 'watershed day' for NHS

The Health Secretary has posted a tweet admitting things had "gone wrong" in the NHS, but he proclaimed that "transparency is disinfectant" after 11 hospitals were placed under "special measures" management:


Watershed day. Hard for Health Sec to admit things go wrong, but I'm determined to see poor care rooted out. Transparency is disinfectant.

Parties clash over NHS records in light of Keogh report

by - Political Correspondent

The Prime Minister has just waded in to the hospitals trust row as he was asked about the report at a question and answer session in Lincolnshire. He said the previous Labour government had simply not wanted to listen to the problems that they were being informed about in the NHS.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was very political in his statement to the Commons today. He said Labour were very much at fault for high death rates at 14 hospital trusts.

I think the Conservatives do feel that this is an issue that they need to make up ground on as opinion polls suggest the public do not trust the party as much as they do Labour.

The Conservatives are determined to show that Labour don't have as good a record on the NHS as it has been made out. Equally, Labour believe they have a lot to say about their NHS record in power, which was mostly good.

Labour improved waiting lists/times and reduced rates of infection, and Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham is very angry indeed to the way in which this is being portrayed by the party opposite.

He said that the current government has had three years to look into failings at hospital trusts and it's done nothing over the past three years.

Hunt: Review found 'NHS reputation mattered more than patients'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the review had found the NHS's reputation mattered more than individual patients and targets mattered more than people.

We owe it to the 3 million who use the NHS every week to tackle and confront abuse, incompetence and weak leadership head-on.

No statistics are perfect but mortality rates suggest since 2005 thousands more people may have died than would normally be expected at the 14 trusts reviewed by Sir Bruce.

Worryingly in half of those trusts the CQC (Care Quality Commission), the regulator specifically responsible for patient safety and care, failed to spot any real cause for concern rating them as compliant with basic standards.

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