latest health care news

11.12.17

Lord Kerslake quits as trust chair in protest against NHS underfunding

Lord Kerslake has resigned as the chairman of a major hospital trust in London in protest against historic underfunding in the NHS.

The respected figure resigned from his post at King’s College Hospital NHS FT yesterday, saying that cuts to the NHS were the reason behind his decision.

In a statement on Twitter yesterday, Kerslake said that he did not take the decision lightly.

He said: “I love King's but I believe the government and regulator are unrealistic about the scale of the challenge facing the NHS and the trust.” He also paid tribute the staff and their “excellent” patient care.

 


In response to the news, a spokesperson from the trust described Kerslake as a “passionate advocate and champion of the trust.”

“He has led King’s through a challenging period which has also seen some notable successes - our response to the three major incidents in London, the launch of the helipad and delivering some of the highest patient outcomes of any trust in the UK,” the spokesperson said.

Labour’s shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, said that Kerslake’s warnings about the underfunding of the NHS should be taken seriously.

“Those who dismiss concerns about underfunding and the recent inadequate budget do patients a huge disservice,” he warned.

And Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said that Kerslake’s decision is significant because “he has been at the heart of government,” referencing his time as head of the civil service.

He continued: “What we, our members and others have been saying is that this is not just the normal pitch for more money from a bunch of vested interests - everyone accepts that the government has enormously difficult decisions to make at a time of great uncertainty and great distraction. 

“But what is unarguable is that demand is growing beyond our capacity to meet it - and ironically the current constraints are slowing down our capacity to reform the way care is delivered.”

Dickson added that society needs to decide whether it will embrace reform and provide the resources to deliver it.

“We have no doubt that this will require us to devote a greater proportion of our GDP to health and care, but let us first gather objective evidence of what will be needed and commit to having a serious debate about what we are prepared to pay for. 

That will also require a new way of looking at investment in our health which needs to be seen as one of the pre-requisites of an effective and efficient modern economy - not a drain on wealth creation, but a necessary building block,” he concluded.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We know that King's NHS Foundation Trust faces huge financial challenges, and we will support them to tackle these issues and continue to deliver high quality care for patients under a new chairman. 

“We would like to thank Sir Bob Kerslake for his service.”

A spokesperson for NHS Improvement said that King’s financial performance is “unacceptable and continues to deteriorate.”

It added: “We are considering a range of actions, including entry to our Financial Special Measures regime, which means King's will be subject to greater scrutiny and extra support from NHS Improvement.

“We respect Lord Kerslake's decision to step down and he will be replaced with a highly experienced new chair to take charge of the trust's position.”

Top image: Steve Parsons PA Wire

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

interviews

Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

How to help patients manage the psychology of chronic conditions

20/03/2020How to help patients manage the psychology of chronic conditions

Indie Dhariwal, Wellbeing Facilitator at Living Well Taking Control Living with a chronic condition puts huge pressure on both the body and mind. Not only can it pre... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >