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Campaigners launch fresh bid to get NHS chief out


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.”


Readers' comments (3)

  • he is not a scapegoat, the nurses working in appalling conditions will be the scapegoats.

    he should resign, out of respect to the families if nothing else.

    he was responsible for that hospital, the staff and the patients.

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  • Anonymous | 26-Feb-2013 7:56 am

    “The intervention by Tory MPs comes after David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said he would stand by Sir David and warned that “we should not be seeking scapegoats” over what happened at Mid Staffs.”

    ““There has been a thunderous silence around the NHS and Mid Staffs scandal, and relatives of those who died needlessly have been screaming into a vacuum for those in positions of authority who were responsible to be held to account,” Mrs Leslie said.”

    “Added: “Those involved must be held accountable for their actions and face the consequences. David Nicholson was then over-all in charge of Mid Staffs. In no other walk of life would a man who had overseen such a diabolical catastrophe keep his job. So why should he be immune from responsibility? If talk of accountability is to mean anything at all, he must surely resign.” “

    It seems that Davy boy (Cameron) just sees the whole affair as just one item on his list of things to do, to tick off and pass on to the next. As far as one can see this is all he has done so far.

    As for “In no other walk of life would a man who had overseen such a diabolical catastrophe keep his job.” In the banks, IMF (just for a sex scandal which is by no way comparable to or on the scale of this current one), and not to mention all the other lesser scandals in other large firms. Continuing to collect a salary or any bonus or befits after this is also fraud and corruption which must cease. There is no longer trust in Mr. Nicholson so why should he be allowed to continue in his current role? It also puts the sound judgment of David Cameron into question. With so much political and public pressure surely at least one head will roll?

    Tory MPs to demand resignation of NHS chief over Mid Staffs scandal

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  • Yes, David Nicholson should resign. An apology is not good enough when he is responsible for the deaths of over 600 people and abuse of countless others.

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