On Wednesday the Guardian ran a front page story highlighting failures at Tameside Hospital.
The report focussed on two reviews which criticised aspects of treatment and management at the Trust. These reports had been undertaken alongside Sir Bruce Keogh’s review of care standards, which is due to report soon.
After this story broke Tameside Hospital became the focus of considerable media attention, and so I, along with Andrew Gwynne and David Heyes, took the decision to make public our own confidential submission to the Keogh Review.
In it we explicitly repeated our call, first made over three years ago, for the Chief Executive Christine Green to go and allow new leadership to come in.
Later that day, Christine Green, alongside Medical Director, Tariq Mahmood, both resigned from their positions. In my opinion, their decision to finally go was the right one and is in the best interests of the Hospital and the local community.
There is likely to be further media interest when Keogh finally reports, but I do now believe the Hospital is in a position where it can move forward. There are some excellent staff at Tameside - I experienced that myself when my son Arthur was born there less than three months ago - but they also need excellent leaders.
The NHS celebrates its 65th birthday this week and is our most cherished public institution. I am a passionate supporter of our NHS, but I will not accept substandard care in Tameside in health or any other public service.
People in Britain have come to expect the highest standard of healthcare and that is exactly what they deserve. In the majority of cases the NHS provides this, and does an outstanding job.
I hope that the appointment of a new Chief Executive will offer a new start for Tameside Hospital, and that local people and staff at the hospital will get the standard of care that they deserve.
Published 5th July 2013