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National authority chief nurse was criticised at Mid Staffs inquiry


The new organisation charged with making sure all NHS providers become foundation trusts has appointed a head of nursing who was criticised at the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust inquiry.

The NHS Trust Development Authority has announced Peter Blythin as its nursing director.

Mr Blythin was director of nursing at NHS West Midlands from 2006 until last year. The strategic health authority was responsible for overseeing Mid Staffs as it attempted to become an FT, and as its care scandal developed.

The inquiry heard he “apparently failed to inject any urgency” into a critical review of nursing levels at Mid Staffs.

Counsel to the enquiry Tom Kark said: “The time lag between [Mid Staffs nursing director Helen Moss] first expressing to him concerns about nurse staffing and her presentation of the review to the trust board was about eight months. We ask, should he not have been more proactive than he was?”

It also emerged at the inquiry that Mr Blythin had told it he was not aware of a serious incident involving the death of a diabetic. It emerged he received an email about it, but said he had not opened an attachment which contained the detail.

Mr Kark also said at the inquiry he was “clearly an experienced and caring individual.”

Authority chief executive David Flory said in a statement his senior team – including Mr Blythin – “bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience”.


Readers' comments (10)

  • All aboard the gravy train! Once onboard you never have to disembark, no matter how useless you are! TOOT-TOOT!

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  • A promotion for incompetence - not that unusual in the NHS unfortunately.

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  • There is no mention of "incompetence" in the article above. However there are comments regarding his experience and attitude. I would challenge any nurse to state honestly that they have never made a mistake at work. When you are in a very senior position (and under enormous pressure from many angles) those mistakes can have far-reaching consequences. However everybody is entitled to learn from their experiences and move on. It is the nature of critical, reflective practice. How easy it is to judge and castigate an individual publicly from a position of anonymity and righteous indignation.

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  • Anon 24/07/12 12:04

    "from a position of anonymity" Actually I posted under my name unlike you!!!! I have no problem putting my name to my opinions.

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  • Sarah Stanley is right.

    It is true everyone makes mistakes.

    It also true the NHS suffers a blame culture.

    It is further true that good nurses acknowledge mistakes and can explain what they or their organisation has learnt

    I am unaware that Mr Blythin has explained or acknowledged his mistakes or shown what he has learnt that he will bring to his new job.

    If I have missed it, then so did the Mid Staffs inquiry, but I am willing to be corrected.

    If he has not, then his appointment is quite extraordinary and bodes ill for Monitor given its crucial role in the NHS

    Like Sarah Stanley I am happy to put my name next to my comment.

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  • If you remember one Cynthia Bower was Parachuted from the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority to the CQC.

    At the Stafford enquiry this woman was comprehensively 'outed' as being an incompetent. Her performance at the CQC was abysmal and she succeeded in ensuring the CQC was discredited and criticised on many fronts. This woman's has now effectively been removed form the CQC. What has not been answered is just how much money was paid to secure her departure.

    Sarah is correct failure is rewarded at a senior level within the NHS

    Contrast the "smoke and mirrors" approach of the senior managers approach to looking after each others interests with the draconian approach taken by management who seem to take great pleasure in depriving Nurses of their profession and a means of earning an income. A small error/misdemeanour can result in a nurse being struck from the register.

    The latest example is the nurse who publicly criticised "management" for plotting to close a hospital who was instantly suspended and who now most likely will face disciplinary action being taken against her by people who are accomplished lier's.

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  • Jenny I agree, even after Stafford and many other similar examples whistle blowers are no better protected than they ever were, after reading the whistle blowing policy at our Trust I renamed it the "gagging policy" as that is what it actually is.
    I know there are senior managers who have very effectively covered up their own very serious mistakes in full confidence that no one will dare out them.

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  • Sarah Stanley | 24-Jul-2012 7:04 pm

    it is the content of the comment which is important. why do you think there is an 'anoymously' option below?

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  • Anonymous 25 Jul 2012 12:48

    Well actually I was referring to the fact that I was being accused of criticising someone publicly from "a position of anonymity" which of course I didn't!

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  • Power = corruption.

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