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'Not up to the job'

What the NHS really needs though is not more management, but better management

Post-war Labour prime minister, Clement Atlee, was a man of few words. A junior minister, who had just been sacked, asked him why. ‘Not up to the job’, was alleged to have been the terse reply.

I cannot claim to have read the three volumes of Robert Francis QC’s Mid Staffs report, nor indeed all of its 290 recommendations. From what I have read, however, it could be summed up in Atlee’s four terse words. Those involved, be they doctors, managers or nurses, were ‘not up to the job’.

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