16 April 1948

Tact, kindliness and a sympathetic understanding were pre-eminent qualities for a good hospital administrator, said King's Fund secretary Sir Hugh Lett, opening the Institute of Hospital Administrators' annual conference at Caxton Hall, Westminster.

The science of hospital management advanced year by year, Sir Hugh said. But being a mere exponent of efficiency was not enough. The hospital administrator set the standard, and his influence spread throughout the hospital.

Fred Messer MP, chairman of North West Metropolitan regional hospital board, said that under the new NHS Act, every man, woman and child was entitled to medical treatment irrespective of ability to pay. That was their right under the act - but the act did not assure them of that right. A service had to be built up to provide them with that to which they were entitled by law. There were long waiting lists of patients who ought to be in hospital now, while hundreds of beds were vacant because of lack of staff.