Jeremy Hunt calls for hospital super-heads

Jeremy Hunt calls for hospital super-heads

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has suggested hospital super-heads and a new chief inspector of family doctors could be installed to prevent future NHS scandals.

Mr Hunt was speaking publicly for the first time since the publication of the Francis Report into the failings of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust, which led to more than 1,200 unnecessary deaths.

Addressing delegates at the Reform thinktank, Mr Hunt insisted compassion in care cannot be "commanded from on high either by regulators or politicians".

Although he acknowledged healthcare is a more complex industry than education, the health secretary made a direct comparison with Ofsted - the body responsible for inspecting schools.

Mr Hunt told how the fact it admitted in 1991 that schools were not meeting required standards brought about significant reform.

"That led to a generation of super-heads … who we later turned out to solve the problem of failing schools," he explained.

Mr Hunt also suggested "a number of other parts of the system" need inspectors to assess their levels of care - including GPs.

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