Kevin Barron (Rother Valley, Labour)
The Francis report said that three areas went wrong: the first was unprofessional behaviour; the second was a lack of leadership; and the third was that the overwhelming prevalent factors were lack of staff in terms of both absolute numbers and appropriate skills. Given that we have lost thousands of nursing posts in the past few years, is the Secretary of State missing the point?
Unprofessional behaviour ? Lack of Leadership ? Well, our Rother Valley MP could be speaking about himself and his party ! As for lack of staff with the appropriate skills, maybe he could advise on that one regarding his local town council.
If the right hon. Gentleman had listened to what I have said, he would know that the number of clinical staff has gone up by 6,000 since the last election, which would not have been possible had we cut the NHS budget, which is what Labour Front Benchers want. It is important to ensure that we have the right numbers in wards to care for people. That is exactly what the new chief inspector will look at. There is evidence that hospitals that have the highest and most respected standards of care ensure they have adequate numbers not just of nurses, but of health care assistants. The whole NHS needs to learn the lesson that it must not cut corners when it comes to care.
Pay attention Mr Barron at the back there. And could you pay a bit of attention to Maltby before you leave us physically as well as politically ?