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Secretary of State sets out tough new approach to turn around NHS hospitals

Posted: 31st October 2013

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt has announced that the best managers are to be put in charge of failing hospitals as part of a series of tough new measures aimed at improving the services failing hospitals are providing.

In the wake of the scandal over standards at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and subsequent Keogh Review which looked at 14 NHS Trusts with high mortality rates, 11 of the least successful Trusts have already been placed in ‘special measures’.

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said: “It has been demonstrated time and again, in healthcare and other fields, that strong and inspirational leadership is a vital component of a successful organisation.  We therefore support today’s announcement by the Secretary of State. The best leaders in the NHS need to be placed in positions at those trusts which are not providing the levels of safety and dignity in care which patients should be able to expect, although it is important standards in other trusts are not allowed to fall as a resulHowever, whilst this announcement is a step forward, it will not in itself be the step change that is required in the way hospitals are organised in the NHS. It will not provide a robust and transparent complaints system. It won’t resolve the travesty of understaffed wards.  It cannot create a regulatory system which is able to detect and tackle poor care wherever it occurs.

The Government needs to complement todays welcome announcement by committing to implementing the Francis recommendations in full”.

The Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt said that “turning special measures hospitals round is my top priority as Health Secretary. In place of the old approach of paying management consultants to analyse the problems, we are giving contracts to the best in the NHS to implement solutions they have tried and tested.  With the help of inspiring NHS leaders and their teams from our leading hospitals, I am confident that we can get these hospitals out of special measures and on the road to recovery.”

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