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Failing NHS hospitals to be boosted by Cobra-style meetings

Underperforming hospitals face special measures before what ministers warn will be one of the worst winters in the history of the NHS.

Thérèse Coffey, the health secretary, told a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference that there was too much “variation in what patients experience” as her department plans to impose closer control on failing hospitals.

Robert Jenrick, the NHS minister, said that the government “shouldn’t be tolerant of those parts of the NHS which are underperforming” and had demanded quicker improvement from more than a dozen hospitals.

He acknowledged that NHS staff were overstretched in the aftermath of the pandemic, saying that he wanted to “put boosterism to one side” and accept that the shortage of doctors and nurses was the biggest problem facing the health service.

However, he also questioned why some hospitals were doing so poorly when other nearby hospitals with similar problems were seeing much shorter waits.

“A very striking dynamic is the variability that we see within the NHS and I think this is where we as Conservatives have a message, which is that we shouldn’t be tolerant of those parts of the NHS which are underperforming.”

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Source: The Times, 4 October 2022


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