Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust 'recipe for another Mid Staffs'
A Cornwall MP has warned the area's troubled hospital trust is a "recipe" for a repeat of the Stafford NHS scandal, writes London Editor Graeme Demianyk.
Andrew George, Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives, posed the question to under-fire NHS boss Sir David Nicholson yesterday as part of a House of Commons grilling.
Sir David's resignation has been called for following the publication of the Francis Report into serious failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. It found up to 1,200 people died unnecessarily.
Mr George, who serves on the cross-party Health Select Committee of MPs, drew parallels with Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT), which is seeking to attain the same "foundation" status as Mid Staffordshire.
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He challenged Sir David, who recently visited Cornwall, over "rock-bottom" staff morale and pressure from Whitehall to "pay off a legacy debt". "Isn't that a recipe for another Mid Staffs," Mr George asked at the hearing.
Sir David said trusts must "be able to show that you are both clinically and financially viable". But Mr George told the Western Morning News afterwards: "The potential for sweeping patient outcomes under the carpet are present."
Foundation hospitals have some independence from government and regional health authorities.
RCHT was once more than £50 million in the red. Last week, its latest staff satisfaction survey ranked in the bottom 20% of all health trusts in a number of categories.