Sir David Nicholson, who has been facing calls for his resignation over the scandal, told the Health Select Committee that he was deeply, deeply saddened by reading the stories of patients who had been mistreated

Debate: After MPs quizzed Sir David Nicholson over Mid-Staffordshire disaster, should the NHS chief resign?

Share
Related Topics

 

What's going on?

Head of the NHS Sir David Nicholson today faced the Health Select Committee to defend his record over the appalling treatment and subsequent death of patients admitted to Stafford hospital in 2005/6.

Nicholson, who has been facing calls for his resignation over the scandal, told the Health Select Committee that he was deeply saddened by reading the stories of patients who had been mistreated.

But he insisted that during the period when he was running the health authority responsible for Mid Staffordshire trust he did not have the information that would have allowed him to spot problems.

Is Nicholson's reputation sufficiently in tact to carry on with the job? Or should he stand down?

Case for: Responsible

Nicholson can only shy away from responsibility for so long. Put simply, the buck stops with him. Patients were put through unimaginable and often fatal suffering as part of a culture of target-chasing that put numbers first and people a long-distant second. The idea that he was far enough removed from Mid-Staffs to be absolved of shame is a chimera, and contadicted in part by a letter he sent congratulating staff for meeting targets in 2005, after a ward tour. He should send another letter now, to the public. Explaining why had no option but to resign.

Case against: Devolved

This is not one man's scandal. Forcing Nicholson to fall on his sword would give the illusion of closure when what's needed is root-and-branch reform. There were many individuals - managers and doctors alike - whose guilt far, far exceeds any that can be attributed to Nicholson. Furthermore, the pressure on him to reduce waiting times and chase targets came from above. It's terrible that our health service sunk to such lows. Nicholson is widely held a good and caring man, his departure would only impede reform.

Nicholson should resign

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: When is a baroness not a baroness? Titles still cause confusion

Guy Keleny
 

CPAC 2015: What I learnt from the US — and what the US could learn from Ukip

Nigel Farage
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower