David Frum

02.06.13

The Worst Scandal in British Medical History

Sonia Burnhill, of campaign group Cure the NHS, who lost her husband Peter whilst he was a patient at Stafford General Hospital, poses next to a memorial gallery on March 17, 2009 in Stafford, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) ()

British Prime Minister David Cameron will speak about the latest findings today. The Daily Mail reports with lip-smacking partisanship below. Yet the problem cannot be fixed by another central edict replacing the previous central edict.

Rather, the NHS revealed the classic problem of centrally planned social services: once clients cease to be customers - once they can no longer threaten to walk across the street and take their money with them - providers cease to treat them with respect.

Hundreds of hospital patients died in the biggest NHS scandal in living memory because of a box-ticking culture and a failure of compassion, a damning official report will say today. David Cameron is appalled by the findings of a long-awaited report into the deaths of up to 1,200 people between 2005 and 2008 because of poor care in hospitals run by the Mid Staffordshire trust.

It is expected to blame managers who cut costs and reduced staffing levels in an attempt to hit Labour’s ‘efficiency’ targets and win foundation status. The Prime Minister will respond to the findings by announcing the creation of a new chief inspector of hospitals, who will be charged with ensuring hospitals deliver good, compassionate care rather than simply ‘chasing targets’.