Stafford Hospital scandal chief defends record after taking top NHS role

By Richard Guttridge | Stafford | Health | Published: | Last Updated:

A health chief who was criticised for his involvement in the Stafford Hospital scandal has insisted he is the right man for the job following his controversial appointment to a top role at another hospital trust.

Sir David Nicholson

Sir David Nicholson defended his record after becoming interim chairman of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Kidderminster and Worcestershire Royal Hospitals.

The 63-year-old was head of the West Midlands Health Authority for a short period while patients were mistreated at Stafford Hospital. He was later appointed as NHS England chief executive but then stepped down in 2014.

Sir David faced intense scrutiny following the publication of a public inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which ran Stafford Hospital.

He was in charge of the regional health authority responsible for the trust for a short period while patients were being mistreated. Hundreds more people died at the trust than would have been expected.

Julie Bailey, who exposed failings at the trust following the death of her mother, said she was 'appalled' by Sir David's appointment to the top role and that he was 'at the top of a rotten culture'.

Sir David said he was committed to helping to make the Worcestershire hospitals 'the best they can be'.

He said: "These are my local hospitals, I have two young children who were both born at the Worcester Royal Hospital, we have used the facilities there and we've used Kidderminster Hospital.

"I've a vested interest in making them the best they can be so I want to commit myself to doing that.

"I have 40 years of experience of running hospitals and health services in this country and abroad and hopefully that experience can be brought to bear to make these hospitals the best they can possibly be."

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.


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