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Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 13 July 2012 - 10:12am

I doubt there are many who were not shocked to hear the case of the young lad denied proper care and attention in St George's; the fact he was so desperate he had to ring 999. A disgrace.

But for me what was also shocking was the prepared statement read out from St George's management. An appalling illustration of a culture that puts the professional and management interest above that of the patient. Their " unreserved apology" was hedged about with caveats that implied they have excellent care for the rest of their million patients. This was somehow a one off. No hint of lessons learnt.

There was no indication they would review their care systems or their management and nursing standards. Consider whether their culture is putting staff above patient interest.

They have refused all requests for interviews. They are clearly in lock down mode. This is not the response we need nor patients at St George's deserve.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated example in our NHS. It is absolutely right there are superb and dedicated professionals in our health service. My own experience is of very high standards of care and attention. And I am sure that many of the professionals at St George's will also share my horror. So it is not simply a matter for St George's; all hospital trusts should take this opportunity to check their own care standards.

It is the task of senior management and the role of the CEO to set culture. What is the CEO of St George's going to do to ensure lessons are learnt? Not just for them but more widely for other hospitals. What will the non execs do to hold management to account?

The NHS belongs to the people. That's the grand claim of the NHS Constitution. The Future Forum is looking at the Constitution. We need a culture that puts the people and , in particular patients, at the forefront in decision making. This is something the newly formed CCGs will want to look at. They should be commissioning services from hospitals that ensure effective checks on patient care standards.

And the role of our own sector must be to speak for patients and demand the best possible care is provided. And we also must ensure our own culture is beneficiary centred. In my experience it is. But there is never room for complacency.