Health campaigners demanding that senior managers are held to account for the Stafford Hospital “disaster” are to step up their calls for the resignation of Sir David Nicholson.
Cure The NHS said its members would stage a silent protest outside this Thursday’s meeting of the NHS Commissioning Board in Manchester.
Planned to last for the duration of the three-hour meeting, the protest will also see Cure The NHS lobbying individual members of the board to themselves ask the NHS chief executive to resign.
Sir David, who heads the NHS Commissioning Board, faced calls to quit earlier this month following the publication of the Francis Report into serious failings at Mid Staffordshire Trust.
Speaking ahead of this week’s protest, Cure The NHS founder Julie Bailey claimed that neither the public nor staff in the NHS wanted Sir David to stay in his post.
Ms Bailey, who set up the campaign group after her mother Bella died at Stafford Hospital in 2007, added: “We watched our loved ones suffer and lost them under terrible conditions - we have those memories forever and some people have to live with the harm that was caused to them forever.
“Sir David Nicholson isn’t a scapegoat, he is ultimately responsible as the leader of the NHS but he also played a direct role in the disaster at Mid Staffs.
“We are urging people to support our call for his resignation.”
Sir David had direct responsibility for the Mid Staffordshire Trust as head of its regional health authority for part of the period when some patients were neglected and mistreated.
Speaking last week, Prime Minister David Cameron said Sir David had already acknowledged mistakes made by the authority under his leadership and “properly” apologised for them.
Mr Cameron told reporters in India: “I read that section of the report very carefully about the regional health authority and him, and I read what was said about scapegoats and I don’t think he should be made a scapegoat for what went wrong in Mid-Staffordshire.
“He has apologised. He has said there are lessons to learn. He wants the NHS to learn them.”