11. November 2011 14:05
Inconsistent NHS leadership questioned
The NHS has suffered due to inconsistent leadership over a prolonged period, peers in the House of Lords have been told.
Baroness Cumberlege, a Conservative peer, told the House the number of different health secretaries in recent times has led to a lack of trust and confusion by the health service.
Speaking during the committee stage of the Health Bill, Baroness Cumberlege compared the Sir Alex Ferguson’s 25-year reign at Manchester United and asked “what difference it might make to the NHS” had it had a leader for a similar tenure.
Since 1997, there have been seven different health secretaries – six of which under the previous Labour government.
“One of the real problems that we have, and it exists even if it is the same party in power for a length of time, we lack a consistency of leadership, because the Secretaries of State are here one minute and gone the next,” said Baroness Cumberlege.
“I think that contributes to an NHS that gets confused, that gets fed up and is mistrustful of its masters.”