Thursday, January 21News For London

King’s College hospital trust chairman resigns in protest

NHS Improvement, responsible for overseeing and managing the performance of NHS, has placed King’s College hospital trust in special measures. The development comes right after Lord Kerslake resigned as the chairman of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on Sunday.

Speaking about his decision, Lord Kerslake said:

“I do not do this lightly as I love King’s but believe the government and regulator are unrealistic about the scale of challenge facing the NHS and the trust.”

“I want to pay tribute to the staff and their excellent patient care,” he added.

King’s College hospital trust had a budget deficit of £38m for 2017/18. This was agreed between NHS Improvement and King’s board. However, in October the NHS Improvement said that the trust had worsened this prediction to £70m.

Ian Dalton, Chief Executive of NHS Improvement said:

“The financial situation at King’s has deteriorated very seriously over recent months and we have now placed the trust in special measures to maximise the amount of scrutiny and support that it receives.”

Jonathan Ashworth, British Labour and Cooperative party politician, felt that the resignation was an embarrassment for the government.

King’s College Hospital has spoken about Kerslake in a good light and said that he led King’s “through a challenging period which has also seen some notable successes, our response to three major incidents in London, the launch of the helipad and delivering some of the highest patient outcomes of any Trust in the UK.”

In a self-penned article in The Guardian, on Monday, Kerslake paid tribute to the “world-class” care given at the hospital and wrote:

“There are undoubtedly things that I and the trust could have done better, there always are, but fundamentally our problems lie in the way that the NHS is funded and organised. We desperately need a fundamental rethink. Until then we are simply ‘kicking the can down the road’.”

NHS Improvement said it respects Kerslake’s decision of stepping down and would “replace him with a highly experienced new chair to take charge of the trust’s position.”


Featured Image: Katy Ereira [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons