NHS manager quits over smear tests failure

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A SENIOR manager has left the NHS 'by mutual agreement' after a report blamed management error for failing to recall 3,860 women with abnormal or inadequate cervical smears for a further test, writes Nicholas Timmins. The women had to be recalled by Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth Family Health Services Authority after the mistake was discovered.

An inquiry blamed inadequate levels of technical and professional support for the information systems manager.

While mistakes were made by junior and middle-ranking staff members, the inquiry recommended against disciplining them because of 'the context in which they were working'.

Instead, the report challenged the priority given to work by senior management.

After meeting in private, the authority said that Peter Hill, until December the authority's general manager, had 'left the NHS by mutual consent'. John Spiers, the chairman, said he was confident its systems were now effective.