Jeremy Hunt announces NHS managers will be blacklisted for failure and patients will rate individual wards in major shake-up

 

Individual hospital wards will be rated by patients and negligent managers blacklisted from working in the NHS as part of sweeping reforms to prevent another Mid-Staffordshire style scandal, the Government has announced.

Under plans unveiled by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt hospitals will be given Ofsted style ratings from next year – while patient satisfaction ratings for individual wards and units will also be published.

In addition the Government has signalled that it expects hospitals to employ more nurses to improve patient care and will tighten up the training and monitoring of healthcare assistants.

But it stepped back from plans to require a legal “duty of candour” for all NHS employees to expose wrong-doing saying it was concerned it could perversely lead to a new “culture of fear” in the organisation.

The Francis Inquiry into the lessons to be learnt from Mid Staffordshire also called for a new regulatory system for the NHS's army of healthcare assistants. But Mr Hunt only announced a code of practice and minimum training standards for the support staff, saying that a regulatory system could create a “bureaucratic quagmire”.

Hundreds of patients are thought to have died needlessly at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009 after they were “routinely neglected”, given the wrong medication and left without food or water for days on end.

The Francis Inquiry into the scandal made 290 sweeping recommendations for healthcare regulators, providers and the Government.

Announcing its response yesterday Mr Hunt said the Government would:

• Appoint a new Chief Inspector of Hospitals who would be able to name and shame poorly performing trusts. Trusts that do not deliver adequate care to patients could be put into a “failure regime” and possibly into administration.

• Award hospitals Ofsted-style ratings including “outstanding”, “good“, “requiring improvement” or “poor”. Hospitals judged not to be providing compassionate care will be unable to achieve a “good” rating even if their medical outcomes are excellent.

• Move towards a system where all NHS staff are paid according to their current performance rather than time served.

• Ensure all nurses spend up to a year working as healthcare assistants as part of the degree courses.

Department of Health sources said under the new regime patients will be able to see not just how individual hospitals are performing but how well units within those hospitals do.

From next month all patients who visit A&E or who spend time on an acute ward will be asked to rate their care within 48 hours of discharge.

The feedback is expected to be published so other patients will be able to see how hospital services are rated before they have an operation.

In addition hospital managers who manipulate statistics or try and cover up cases of poor care will be “struck off” and banned from any future role in healthcare.

The Government is expected to set out details of how the new managerial barring scheme will work within the next few days.

Sources suggested that it might include managers at below board level but stressed that no final decision had yet been taken.

They added that it was being designed to ensure that there was a clear mechanism to ensure that failing managers did not get “shunted around the system”.

“In the past you’ve had managers who fabricated hospital waiting time figures turn up at a health authority or a primary care trust and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it.

“This is about bringing in a system to ensure that managers are held account for their failings and don’t just move around the NHS without any consequence.”

Mr Hunt conceded that as a result of the changes announced the NHS may have to recruit hundreds of extra nurses. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised if many more nurses are employed,” Mr Hunt said.

Until now health chiefs have said that the reduction in nursing numbers was not affecting patient care.

But the campaign group set up in the wake of the Stafford Hospital scandal said the reforms did not go far enough.

Julie Bailey, head of Cure The NHS said the leadership and the “command and control type management” of the organisation had to change.

She told the BBC: “I sat through every day of that public inquiry, all the bodies failed, all the bodies had to apologise, and I really don't think that's been addressed in this statement.

“How many more reviews do we need to tell us the one thing that needs to change is the culture that needs to change? The very top, the people that rule the NHS, the leadership, that's what needs to change, and it works all the way down to the front line.”

Others also criticised the decision not to introduce a system of regulation for healthcare workers.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society said: “Real professional standards and registration for healthcare assistants does not constitute a box-ticking exercise and to suggest as such is a deeply disappointing compromise of patient safety for cost or convenience.”

The independent think tank the King's Fund also warned that the value of Ofsted-style ratings in hospitals was very limited.

“The value of aggregated ratings for hospitals is highly questionable,” said Chris Ham, its chief executive.

“These are complex organisations with different services and specialisms that may vary in quality so an overall rating can hide significant failings within a trust.”

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
football
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas