GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden received a large round of applause at the BMA’s annual representative meeting in Edinburgh on Tuesday when he said that there has to be ‘some sanction’ for NHS managers at fault, beyond a ‘big fat cheque’ and a ‘gagging clause’.
Doctors passed a raft of motions put forward by Dr Holden about the Francis report into failings at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, affirming that ‘patient care is the first duty for all involved in healthcare’.
The conference called for ‘NHS managers to be subject to professional regulation such that they are held accountable for their actions and omissions’.
Motions deplored ‘any culture of secrecy and bullying within health services’ and called for a culture change in the NHS to move away from ‘from the pursuit of financial and activity targets and revert to the attainment of quality in patient care’.
BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter told delegates that he would be ‘very happy to argue that there should be a regulatory system for managers’ before the vote. But he warned that it could mean that doctors who are also managers could be subject to two regulatory systems.
Hertfordshire GP Dr Michael Ingram cautioned against introducing a new regulatory system for NHS managers, warning that it could lead to ‘filibustering’.
‘It will delay action,’ he said. ‘We will have endless reports, endless expense.’