Statement

Local MP, Andrew George, who is also a member of the Commons Health Select Committee, has commented on the reports published today in respect of five independent reports into the conduct of a former Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust consultant obstetrician and a national NHS staff survey.

Mr George said: “I welcome the Trust’s unreserved apology to those women and families who have been so significantly affected by the poor practice of the consultant and for the distress and anxiety caused.

“Clearly the Trust must primarily concentrate attention on quality and standards of frontline services and to uphold the highest standards in patient care.

“It therefore does not help Trusts, nor those highly professional and dedicated staff, to have attention diverted by a culture of obsession with tick box targets and financial and accounting priorities. The RCHT in particular has gone through a period of significant turmoil during the period when this poor practice was carried out without being effectively monitored or stopped.

“The five year period when the Trust rotated five Chief Executives and Chairmen through its Board with many other changes of senior management clearly cannot have helped the Trust remain focused at this critical time.

“The Trust needs a period of stability and to concentrate on its core priority of setting the highest standards in patient care and safety.

“The Trust also needs greater candour, transparency and to encourage constructive feedback both from staff and patients. In particular, the NHS needs a more effective feedback system which does not automatically default to the kind of adversarial complaint and litigation culture which has not helped Trusts like the RCHT, it must learn lessons from poor patient experience and improve services.

“I have confidence that the Chief Executive and Board of the Trust will take these reports seriously and I will certainly be supporting the Trust as it responds by taking effective action to learn lessons and improve services.”

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