NHS chief admits health service "lost its focus"

NHS chief admits health service "lost its focus"

The head of the NHS yesterday (March 5th) admitted that patients' needs were neglected for years as hospitals concentrated on cutting waiting times and reducing costs.

Sir David Nicholson conceded he was "part" of a health service without sufficient focus in its leadership and which was indirectly responsible for the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of patients at Stafford Hospital.

However, the NHS chief refused to resign and insisted he had "no idea" about the severe care failings that occurred at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS trust, where a large number of patients died as a result of poor care and maltreatment.

Sir David also maintained he is the best person to oversee the changes to the NHS called for in the Francis Report in an effort to ensure the scandal cannot be repeated.

His comments came during lengthy questioning by MPs on the Health Select Committee at the House of Commons, which placed particular focus on the events at the Mid-Staffordshire trust between 2005 and 2008.

"During that period, across the NHS as a whole, patients were not the centre of the way the system operated," Sir David stated.

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