A new survey suggests that while hospital doctors have concerns about the introduction of a chief inspector of hospitals they are significantly less opposed to the reform than senior management.  

More than half of medics questioned in the poll said the new official might not be “sufficiently independent of government” and 45 per cent said the post’s introduction would not support the development of a culture of openness in hospitals.

The poll of 800 hospital doctors, conducted by professional indemnity provider the Medical Protection Society (MPS), also found 55 per cent saw the role as “just another layer of bureaucracy”.

However, MPS communications and policy director Dr Stephanie Bown said that while the survey “does reveal concerns regarding the independence of the role of chief inspector of hospitals and its ability to achieve change, only 25 per cent of the hospital doctors we surveyed do not support the position”.

She added: “This is a sharp contrast to the recent NHS Confederation survey that found 71 per cent of senior managers did not support the post.”

The post, which has been filled by Professor Sir Mike Richards, was created by the government in response to the public inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal.