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Thursday 27th October 2016

Poor leadership blamed for bugs

26th October 2007

Lord Darzi, the government minister in charge of reviewing healthcare, has said that poor leadership within the NHS is to blame for the problems with hospital superbugs.

He told MPs on the Commons Health Committee that hospital deep clean programmes had already started but said the deaths of 90 patients in Kent from Clostridium difficile showed the need for cultural change.

MPs questioned Lord Darzi, who is a practising surgeon as well as health minister, on a number of issues including his plans for super GP surgeries that will host a range of services from family doctors and social care to minor surgery and diagnostics.

Members of the select committee also focussed on the timing of his interim report, which was brought forward amid speculation that Prime Minister Gordon Brown was about to call a general election.

Tory MP Mike Pelling said this had affected Lord Darzi’s ability to be an “honest broker? between the NHS and government.

Superbugs was a key issue for the committee and follows the Healthcare Commission finding that poor handling of the bug and a shortage of nurses had probably contributed to deaths in two separate outbreaks of Clostridium difficile at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in which as many as 90 people died between 2004 and 2006.

Lord Darzi said: “There has been poor leadership in some of the organisations that have had significant outbreaks of the type we have seen. I work in organisations that deliver health care and I know exactly the ones that have the right leadership.?


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