Despite bravely picking up the gauntlet from Monitor to ride to the rescue of scandal hit Mid Staffordshire foundation trust, interim chief executive Eric Morton was never going to get an easy ride in front of the Commons health committee last week.
Management has inevitably taken most of the blame for the trust’s failings, and superstar campaign group Cure the NHS is still at loggerheads with the new regime.
Health minister Ben Bradshaw set Mr Morton up for a fall by suggesting MPs question him about his predecessor’s resignation and pension arrangements, as well as the report on his leadership. Having dodged those, Mr Morton was asked how he could devote enough attention to Mid Staffs while remaining chief at Chesterfield Royal Hospital foundation trust.
Did this mean being a foundation chief was a part time job, enquired former GP and Labour MP Howard Stoate? “No,” was the blunt reply. Nor is it one with second home allowances or the ability to close on Wednesdays, he did not add.