Letters: Body with teeth needed to punish bad managers

The Care Quality Commission has been reported in the media as arguing that doctors must do more to tackle bad care.

We didn't have to wait long for this new organisation to start doctor-bashing.

Doctors are very good at whistle-blowing these days - it's just that the people running the NHS don't want to hear what we have to say when we point out their failings. It is the cover-up culture within NHS management that the Care Quality Commission should really be addressing.

This is particularly alarming because, when it comes to endangering life and limb, the most serious deeds I've seen have not been those of fellow clinicians - as was, no doubt, the case in Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Given the harm that can be done by these people, I have been saying for years that a beefed up disciplinary system for managers is long overdue - and it's good to hear that the influential Dr Lancelot is of the same mind (GP, 3 April).

Serious complaints should not be dealt with behind closed doors. Offenders should face disciplinary proceedings with the verdict being determined by a vetted and fully independent 'jury' made up, at least in part, of patients - and the proceedings should be reported to ensure openness and accountability.

Managers who commit serious transgressions should be 'struck off' - prevented from working in healthcare. If rehabilitated and reinstated at a later date, they should be made to work under strict supervision.

In my view, managers should also be punished financially. If managers cannot be made to bear their fair share of the cost of their mistakes, the NHS should at least make failure a less attractive option.

Dr John Cormack, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex.

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