GP MP leads grilling as NHS chief executive insists he's right man for job

Under-fire NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson told MPs he was the right man for the job during a two-hour grilling.

NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson under fire at health select committee
NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson under fire at health select committee

Appearing before the health select committee in Westminster, central London, this morning he insisted he should be judged on his record.

Leading the questioning, GP MP Dr Sarah Wollaston (Conservative, Totnes, Devon), who penned an article in today’s Telegraph calling for him to go, asked Sir David if felt he was the right man for the job.

Sir David replied: ‘I think I have a duty and responsibility to manage the organisation over these great changes. Look at my record. I absolutely get the changes that need to happen.’

He spoke about his work developing the NHS constitution, which explains the principles and values of the organisation.

One mistake he did admit to making was not meeting patients’ groups affected by the failings at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. Pressure has mounted against Sir David after last month’s publication of the Francis report into Mid Staffs failures.

Last month the Daily Mail splashed on findings from a straw poll which found that 89% of our readers agreed with Dr Wollaston.

Sir David added that the government's response to Francis was expected at the end of this month. He backed the duty of candour requirement of NHS workers to be open about failings and said, subject to ministerial approval, this would be incorporated into organisations' contracts. It was unclear how this would affect GPs' contractual arrangements.

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