Teams of experts sent into hospitals to discover why patients are dying in their thousands believe they may have found the answer.
In a highly controversial report, Professor Sir Hamish Andrews, Joint Deputy Assistant Chief Executive of the NHS Patient Experience Investigating Board describes how 59 experts were sent into 11 failing hospitals.
In his summary, Professor Andrews writes: '36 of the experts spent much time investigating the restaurants, whilst the remainder divided their time between the hospital management and the, er, restaurant. Our conversations with the several hundred managers in each hospital let us to conclude that there was nothing wrong that more managers couldn't fix.
'However, in North Leeds hospital, one of our experts took a wrong turning on the way to a management meeting, and ended up in a place where there were lots of people in bed. Apparently this is called a "ward", whatever that is. A lady in uniform, who is called a "nurse", said she had been on duty since February 2007 without a break. When our expert told this "nurse" that he was an NHS expert who had come to find out why lots of people die in hospitals, she apparently said "because we need more f***ing nurses, you idiot!!"
'We have naturally taken disciplinary action against her, so we sacked her and have made sure she will never work anywhere ever again. In addition, we have told the people in the beds to stop being so lazy and to get up and do a decent day's work. This means we will be able to get rid of the "wards" and turn them into offices for the many additional managers that are urgently needed.'