Letter: Barts' need for a captain at the helm

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The Independent Online
Sir: Averil King (letters, 27 October) wonders if the coincidence of Professor Mike Besser's appointment as chief executive at Barts and an advertisement for the post is 'symptomatic of the state of the hospital'. Yes, but not in the way implied.

The resignation of the previous chief executive left our ship in immediate need of someone at the helm as we entered the heavy seas whipped up by Sir Bernard Tomlinson, while we sought a permanent captain. It could take several months for him/her to be in post, but these months are vital and staff regarded an interim appointment as essential.

Barts appointed Professor Bresser to secure the safety of our passengers and crew - the patients and staff; to steer us into calmer waters and pilot us towards our true destination - providing skilled hospital care appropriate to the needs of the public. His appointment has had a perceptible impact on morale and gives a strong thrust to Barts' response to Tomlinson.

Yours sincerely,

ANTHONY J. PINCHING

LESLEY REES

and 11 others

St Bartholomew's Hospital

London, EC1

27 October

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