Conservative Party leader David Cameron has called for an end to the endless reforms and target culture in the NHS and a crack down on violence against nurses and other health staff.
Addressing delegates at the RCN annual congress in Harrogate, Mr Cameron added that there should be a full public inquiry into the events at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
He also ruled out replacing the NHS with an insurance based system. ‘This will not happen while I am in charge,’ he added.
Speaking about the constant reforms in the NHS, he said: ‘We went from the NHSE to the DH. Then we had 28 SHA and then 10 SHAs. Then PCGs went to PCTs…the recent history of the NHS reads like a wretched bowl of alphabetti spaghetti.
‘The right way to get a better NHS is to give power back to the people who work in it.’
‘We are going to scrap all top down interfering targets that undermine professional responsibility,’ he added.
He added that he wanted to see violence against NHS staff to be met with tough legal action.
‘We are going to take a zero tolerance approach to those who attack NHS staff. That means proper protection as standard procedure and for it to be regarded as an aggravated offence.’
On the situation at Mid Staffordshire hospital, Mr Cameron said he had visited the trust himself and spoken with nurses and patients.
‘We need a proper independent inquiry, he said. ‘We need to get to the bottom of what happened.’