Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Monitor puts censured hospital trust into administration

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 16 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2444

Rapid Response:

Re: Leukaemia update. Part 1: diagnosis and management

When will the BMJ wake up and have it's editors and contributors write in staightforward and frank style?

Clare Dyer writes "...a Healthcare Commission investigation sparked by high death rates...", and no doubt this is how the medico-political establishment would like us to see it, when in fact it was the brave persistence of a few appallingly cruelly treated patients and their families that stung the torpid regulators into action. That Monitor failed completely to fulfil its one function and purpose, to monitor, should not surprise us : precipitated into action by this crisis it had to recruit a clinical adviser to its contingency team (but should not Monitor consist simply of one huge contingency team) and two insolvency practitioners before it could make a decision.

Robert Francis has proved an excellent choice of investigator and his report makes clear most of the problems - but his recommendations mainly serve to comfort the establishment and are unlikely to benefit the service.

Governments of all hues for the last 30 years have been at pains to shed responsibility for what they see (rightly, in their own terms) as the insoluble problems of the NHS, and to this end have NHS Trusts been created. When trusts collapse, as many will do soon if continuing as independent, the government of the day will realise that with apparently no politicians of ability interested in health, and a severely depleted department of health (except for the finance side) that they have no idea what to do!

Competing interests: No competing interests

30 April 2013
Retired Surgeon
19/31, Marsham St., SW1P 3DW