Unanswered questions over Mid-Staffs
The day did not start well for tv crews waiting at the Healthcare Innovation Expo 2013.
We had been promised that we could film Sir David Nicholson, the chief executive of the NHS Commissioning Board, who was to speak on precisely the subject of innovation. But last night we were told the speech could not be filmed, which was a first and surprising given that his press office had only a month ago been bigging up the event and encouraging us to be there.
Of course, what his media office knows is that all anyone wants to talk to him about is Mid Staffs and his role in what happened and how much responsibility he should take for it and whether he should heed the calls from some MPs and patient groups and resign.
By mid-morning, having refused us the filming (and it was actually an interesting speech) we were granted one statement from the man himself which amounted to not much more than that innovation is very important and he is looking forward to being part of a future NHS.
Later I asked the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt if he can continue to ignore the fact that Sir David has become the story. Mr Hunt merely reiterated his full support for Sir David. Indeed, so did David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions. His view is that the Francis Inquiry had not looked for scapegoats and nor should anybody else.
The problem is that there are still a number of questions that Sir David needs to answer. His appearance at the Health Select Committee did not leave many feeling satisfied and subsequently he has been kept out of sight, except for today when he had to make an appearance.
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