February 07, 2013

Reading about Mid Staffs

Who knew what, and when, at Mid Staffs? Philip Carter and Brian Jarman explain.

The shocking thing is that there were clear signs years before anyone acted. Meanwhile people continued to be tortured and killed in the very place where they should have been cared for. The government has now ordered urgent inspections of some other hospitals. Julie Bailey said on Newsnight that she's been receiving complaints about these hospitals for years - and that she can break the problem areas down to ward level. The NHS has been burying its head in the sand while people continued to die unnecessarily.

Heather Wood was the author of the Healthcare Commission’s 2009 report into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. She writes that Mid Staffs is evidence of all that is wrong with NHS management. The balance of power must shift back to the clinicians, she says. Strikingly, Robert Francis says that
The terrible experiences came largely from wards lacking in strong, principled and caring leadership.... In Stafford, wards that were well led generally provided an acceptable standard of care.
But Heather Wood's solution doesn't convince, because the NHS consumes a vast amount of money, and that has to be managed. Nonetheless, she and Brian Jarman are two of the heroes of this disgusting scandal. (The other hero is, of course, Julie Bailey.)

For me, not only is the NHS too big to be managed by an organisation answerable to politicians; even if you spun out all hospitals into one separate organisation, those hospitals would still be too big a group to manage.

So far no one has been held accountable, from ministers down to the ward. The state within a state that is Fortress NHS is intact.


Highland Cooncil said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John Page said...

Previous comment deleted for irrelevance. Nice music, though.

A K Haart said...

"The balance of power must shift back to the clinicians"

Or even the patients.

John Page said...

Hey, hold on there, cowboy.

Edward Spalton said...

A K Haart,
I think you have hit one nail squarely on the head. To exclude clinicians from hospital management is like putting a civil servant, rather than a general, in charge of an army. However much the civil servant knows about logistics, he will have no front line experience

But the curse of "managerialism" is very long-established. Back in the early Seventies, I remember a senior nurse trying to understand the huge reorganisation of that time. She was at home, surrounded by glossy manuals and folders. "I've looked everywhere" she said "and can't find any mention of the patients"