The publication of the Francis report on Stafford Hospital presents a conundrum, one which I have not yet seen mentioned in the MSM or in remarks made by the great and the good.
Andrew Neil, discussing this report during the Daily Politics was scathing about the fact that the likes of David Nicholson, former NHS chief executive, is now head of the NHS commissioning board and that Cynthia Bower, who was chief executive of the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority, went on to become head of the health regulator the Care Quality Commission – and queried of his guests Michael Fallon (Conservative)and Sadiq Khan (Labour) how this could possibly happen. Asking two representatives of a group for whom rewarding incompetence in post is an accepted practice seemed a tad pointless to me – but I digress.
The monolith that the NHS has become, with its size and numerous regulatory and administrative bodies, is surely now too large to be “managed” to an effective degree. And the political response? Lets create yet another layer of bureaucracy with the appointment of a Chief Inspector of Hospitals with the associated costs (funded by the taxpayer – natch) of offices and staff – but again, I digress.
During his statement in the House of Commons David Cameron said that medical regulators must now explain why no one has been disciplined and why medical staff are still practising. Indeed, one daughter whose mother died in Stafford hospital is calling for “heads to roll”; a cry which is sure to be repeated throughout the country.
It is often said the the British people are odd, quaint, difficult to understand, introspective – to name but a few of the terms that have been applied to them. All such observations are indeed true – after all who but the British would decide to live in trees with the intention of preventing a new road being built (Swampy/Newbury By-pass).
In no way do I condone or belittle what happened at Stafford Hospital, but the British are indeed odd. They can become passionate in their condemnation of the incompetence of those placed in charge of a hospital and call for “heads to roll”, yet turn a blind eye to the incompetence of those they elect to manage the health of their country. They will call for “heads to roll” and complain about incompetent individuals being allowed to move to another job funded by them – yet turn not a hair in re-electing to Parliament (and continuing to fund) the same incompetent individuals thus allowing them to repeat the same mistakes.