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Mid Staffs culprits 'should be struck off', says Hunt


Doctors and nurses responsible for the bad care that led to hundreds of deaths in the Mid Staffordshire NHS scandal should be struck off, the health secretary has said.

Jeremy Hunt described the failure to hold anybody to account so far for events at Stafford Hospital was “one of the most shocking things about this”.

“I think this is a problem, I think accountability is very, very important,” he told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show.

Asked whether the doctors, nurses and managers responsible for the situation should be struck off, he said: “Absolutely. The question I ask as health secretary is why is it we have a system where potentially 1,000 people have lost their lives because of bad care and no-one’s brought to book.”

“But I also don’t want to make the mistake of thinking this was all about bad apples.”

Mr Hunt has also indicated that the police should follow the evidence arising from Robert Francis’s inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire Trust.

The inquiry report described a “disaster” in standards of basic care and medical treatment that could have caused up to 1,200 premature deaths.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg reiterated that the police should look at the evidence to establish where there is “clear culpability”.

He told Sky News’ Murnaghan programme: “My own view has always been that there are parts of poor and criminal behaviour in our society where we are sometimes not tough enough.

“White collar crime, we are not as tough as the Americans in saying if someone has committed a white collar crime and others have had to pick up the pieces - we have seen the anger, quite legitimate public anger about the terrible failings in the banking system - I think quite understandably many people say when are people going to be held to account for this?

“But who is held to account, for what offence, is of course at the end of the day a matter for the police.

“That is why it is quite right that Jeremy Hunt has said that the police should be able to follow the evidence.”

He continued: “Some of the individuals who were in management responsibilities at the time are no longer in those positions of responsibility and have long moved on. So you need to look at the detail.”

Reporting last week, Mr Francis said there were failings at every level of the NHS and that the culture among healthcare staff must change.

He said: “What we need to avoid is yet another wholesale reorganisation of abolishing organisations and creating new ones.

“This is about how people behave when they go to work and their ability to raise concerns and be honest about what’s going on in their hospitals.”





Readers' comments (91)

  • anthony clay

    Can managers be 'struck off' ?

    Is there a register of people who are allowed to manage within healthcare ?

    Is this even more deficient, than non-registration of HCAs: who can cause the most damage, a bad HCA or a bad hospital Chief Exec ?

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  • This reflects just how little Government Ministers actually know about the service they are meant to be in charge of.
    It's not suprising that death rates have started to rise as cash strapped Trusts now get a financial incentive to start people on the LCP. it would be interseting to see how many people that died were on the pathway!!

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  • What?????
    You mean to say, they are still allowed to go on neglecting vulnerable patients?
    Well, the NHS is in the hands of a conservative administration, and after all the irresponsible crass management we have suffered in their hands, what do you expect.

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  • Mr Hunt cannot make comments like this without demanding the resignation of Sir David Nicholson..... Lead by example.

    Interesting read on Wikipedia

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  • nicholson must go

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  • Before they start on nurses and doctors deal with managers and government officials and policies that caused this mess and the timebomb that is ticking in other trusts.

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  • Mr Hunt heres some names which you should pass to the police


    All of these people held senior positions and contributed significantly to the disaster.
    These senior people also collaberated in creating a climate of fear designed to "discourage" whistleblowing.
    Clear and unequivocal evidence of "managerial" bullying was presented to the inquiry

    Whilst I do not doubt that some Drs and Nurses are culpable it is important that those at the top of the organisation, those who's actions created the environment which led directly to poor care, are bought to account.

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  • These patients were not washed, fed/watered or given basic care, why did everyone ignore it, they should be removed from the register because they are the ones who ignored it whilst seeing it day in day out. Managers rarely go on the ward and that includes Sisters and Matrons who are supposed to prevent this. However, I would not be able to stand about as a nurse and watch innocent patients DIE because they couldn't reach a cup of water. And yes the Chief executive should resign and should face manslaughter charges.

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  • apart from management and anybody else implicated, the nurses who were involved or witnessed this care are as guilty as the rest. they should have looked after their patients under no matter what conditions or saved their own skin and left the establishment to go and work somewhere else where they could practice safely. they were taking a salary under false pretences for not carrying out the duties they were being paid for. if you cannot follow the code of ethics for whatever reason and cannot report it and ensure the required measures enabling you to do your job are put in place then you have no right to be on the UK register of qualified nurses. even a bullying culture from the managers cannot prevent a nurse from carrying out basic care, offering food and water or placing it within reach of those who can feed themselves. for that there are no excuses.

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  • Every matron, lead nurse, ward manager and deputy ward manager had a duty to listen to concerns. instead 1000 incident forms were placed in the bin!!! They implement what the government wants and attend board meetings and department meetings. THEY ARE TO BLAME! why couldn't they have spoken up, been more assertive and thought of the pressure that these directorate managers were placing upon the staff???

    it is at these board meetings and department meetings that ratios, hrs, rostering, targets, audits, risks are discussed also. They have the power to flag up and voice if these cuts were realistic and safe.

    For the last 10 years a nurse has had a responsibility of 9 - 11 patients. some have had 15 depending on which team you are responsible for. you are extremely lucky if you have 6 patients as you clearly have a good ward manager.

    night staff commencing a shift arrive to find that their collegue, nurse for the other team has the flu, the nurse is then responsible for the care of 30 patients! night coordinators pass through the ward however to inform her that another hca will assist only until a bank nurse arrives.

    This is a regular occurrence all over the country and it is unacceptable to deem any nurse incompetent as there are factors which need to be considered here - burnout, nurse eat nurse culture, increased nurse to patient ratios, increased hrs (12 hr shifts), constant interruptions, unsuitable areas to prepare iv's ( a small designated area next to the nurses station near a phone, computer, in close proximity to medical and other nursing staff, low morale) . . . . the list is endless and needs addressing for the sake of patients and the staff who are responsible for their care. if managers looked after their staff and supported them instead of using them as scapegoats we wouldn't be in this offensive and heartbreaking mess.

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