AN MP says the government should learn from the Keogh review into hospitals and not use it to ‘tarnish’ staff.

Graham Jones, who represents Hyndburn and Haslingden, said: “The vast majority of doctors and nurses working in the NHS perform to a very high standard day in, day out, but everyone in the country will be worried that some hospitals are letting people down.”

The five-month Keogh investigation highlighted severe failings at the East Lancashire NHS Hospitals Trust, one of 11 in the UK put into ‘special measures’ because of high mortality rates. Mr Jones criticised the government for a ‘top-down reorganisation’ of A&E departments, which he said was responsible for low staffing levels.

He said: “Sir Bruce Keogh’s excellent and important report found ‘frequent examples of inadequate numbers of nursing staff’.

“David Cameron promised ‘I'll cut the deficit, not the NHS’. He went round hospitals promising patients he would save A&Es from closure. And what happened? The deficit went up last year while over 4,000 nurses have been cut.

“Labour rebuilt and reformed the NHS, with more nurses, more doctors, more operations, shorter waiting times and over 100 new hospitals.”