The Guardian reports:
An independent inquiry found today that there were "shocking" systematic failures of hospital care in Mid Staffordshire that left patients routinely neglected, humiliated and in pain as the trust focused on cutting costs and hitting government targets.
I have every sympathy for the families in this case.
I know the culture of the NHS is wrong.
I know medics are not allowed to say what they think.
But this comment is telling:
Gordon Brown described the management failure at the trust, which hit targets and achieved elite foundation status, as completely unacceptable and said the government was working on plans to strike offhospital managers responsible for such issues.
Brown was part of a cabinet that bought lock, stock and barrel the corporate idea of management. It applied it to as much as it could of government activity. And this is the cause of the crisis in NHS trusts.
The corporation is managed on a top down basis. There is no room for democracy within them. This is the case of the management crisis in the NHS.
Corporations model themselves on making money - it is the criteria for success. It is this ethos that killed people in an NHS Trusts.
Corporations build the idea of the 'superhuman' hero in the form of the CEO and the board who have power over all and powers beyond all others requiring rewards way in excess of all others. This was brought into the NHS Trust.
Corporations do not allow a lack of consent - obedience is required or the door is the option given. This was the ethos brought into the NHS by Brown and others.
This is the ethos of private medicine as well. Have no doubt - Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust was run as private medical suppliers would deliver NHS care. The difference would be impossible to see.
The answer is that this culture - the culture of the market, the culture of the corporation, the culture of money over care - has to be eradicated from the NHS.
That's the real change that is needed.
That requires radical new thinking. I only wish our politicians knew what that meant.