Succeed or you're fired, David Cameron warns East Lancashire hospital bosses (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Succeed or you're fired, David Cameron warns East Lancashire hospital bosses
DAVID Cameron yesterday warned East Lancashire hospitals’ bosses to sort out the trust’s failures or get sacked.
On a visit to Darwen, the Prime Minister made clear he expected the managers of Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals to solve the crisis exposed by the Keogh Report last month.
In an exclusive interview with the Lancashire Telegraph, he said he expected the management, with the review team sent in to help, to succeed in getting the troubled trust out of ‘special measures’.
After he took questions from staff during the visit to Crown Paints, the Telegraph asked him about what would happen to local NHS bosses if they failed to tackle the problems at the hospital trust.
He replied: “Managers have to succeed or they have to be replaced.”
However he made no promises of extra cash to help them tackle problems, which include higher than average death rates, low staffing, and high accident and emergency readmission rates.
Mr Cameron blamed Labour for the trust’s problems.
He said: “I think that the last government didn’t do enough to shine a spotlight on to areas of failure. That’s quite well documented.
“A number of people have come forward to say that there was a culture of never saying anything was wrong.
“There are lots of good points about the East Lancashire Trust. The number of clinical staff is up, the number of nurses are up, doctors are up, but there are challenges.
“The Keogh report is not just pointing a finger at hospitals then walking away, it is actually putting hospitals in special measures and helping them to deliver higher standards of care.”
On the issue of extra cash to turn the trust around, he said: “Other hospitals are managing. The budget is going up in the NHS. The budget in East Lancashire is going up, but all hospitals have to make sure they are efficient. That means sometimes changing the way that they do things.”
Asked what would happen to hospital bosses if outcomes failed to improve Mr Cameron said: “I’m confident they will.
“You need to have good management and you need to make good decisions to make the NHS efficient. That’s what the special measures are all about.
“Managers have to succeed or they have to be replaced.”
Mr Cameron added: “We are having proper ring-fenced budgets for public health.
“If you look at areas like East Lancashire where you can have bad health outcomes that is also about public health - diet and smoking and exercise and all those other things that the public health agenda needs to address.”
Following the visit an East Lancashire Hospitals Trust spokesman said: “We do not feel it is appropriate to comment as it was not said directly to us.”
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