Jeremy Hunt will today launch a scathing attack on himself claiming that he is endangering lives through “coasting” – blaming frontline staff for the NHS’s problems as a way to avoid tackling the root cause of them such as chronic under staffing and needless top down re-organisations.
In a fresh attack on himself he will declare that he is simply delivering the minimum expected of a Secretary of State for Health, which is to blame demoralised staff for everything wrong in the NHS whilst at the same time completely ignoring any effort to tackle the genuine problems of under funding and chaotic re-organisations.
"My coasting can kill. Not straight away, but over time as my complacency sets in, I look inwards, my standards will drop and then suddenly, something gives, and I get reshuffled off somewhere else and someone new can come in and blame all the nurses" Hunt will say in a speech to a conference organised by the Nuffield Trust health thinktank to debate the future of healthcare.
"The lesson of Mid Staffs is surely that we need to truly deal with the fundamental problems of lack of investment, and costly pointless re-structuring but that will not happen on my watch, that would mean tackling my mediocrity and everyone’s low expectations of me before I turn into a failure and so cause untold tragedy."
Labour’s Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary countered “It’s wrong of Mr Hunt to blame himself entirely. There has been a countless parade of Health Secretaries , myself included, who have not only failed to deal with these problems but actively created more and so have blame it all on lazy staff or something when it all goes inevitably wrong.”