Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Prof Sir Brian Jarman criticised the NHS for failing to use mortality data to improve safety in our hospitals. There is media speculation that the failure to use this information could have led to 20,000 preventable deaths over the past 10 years.
But then we recall David Nicholson’s comments at the Mid-Staffordshire Inquiry don’t we? The comments were ‘Quality was not an organising principle of the NHS’. Staggering comment from somebody running an organisation that we place our trust in for our, and our families, life saving care.
On these number round 200 patients per month die needlessly, about as many passenger as you get on the average flight. If a major airline decided that quality was not an ‘organising principle’ of its services and had the equivalent of one plane crash per month you wouldn’t fly them would you? You would definitely not want to be a frequent flyer. If you were the regulator you would ground them, wouldn’t you? If you were a shareholder of the company you wouldn’t accept that the person who was running the company could remain in post, would you?
It is truly shocking that after the Mid-Staffordshire report and these revelations that Sir David Nicholson remains in post.
What is even more shocking is our politicians and Sir Bob Kerslake, the head of the civil service, leave him there.