Health campaigners who are demanding that senior managers are held to account for the Stafford Hospital “disaster” will on Thursday step up their calls for the resignation of Sir David Nicholson.

Cure the NHS said its members would stage a silent protest outside Thursday’s meeting of the NHS CB in Manchester.

Planned to last for the duration of the three-hour meeting, the protest will also see the group lobbying individual members of the board to themselves ask Sir David to resign.

Sir David, who heads the NHS CB, faced calls to quit earlier this month following the publication of the Francis Report into serious failings at Mid Staffordshire Trust between 2005 and 2009.

But last week, Prime Minister David Cameron said Sir David, who had direct responsibility for the trust as head of its strategic health authority for part of the period when patients were neglected and mistreated, had already acknowledged mistakes made by the authority under his leadership and “properly” apologised for them.

Julie Bailey, who set up Cure the NHS after her mother Bella died at Stafford Hospital in 2007, claimed that neither the public nor staff in the NHS wanted Sir David to stay in his post.

“We want his resignation, if not his sacking,” said Ms Bailey.

“He has brought the NHS into disrepute.

“We are planning to lobby members of the board to call for him to resign.”

Ms Bailey told ITV’s Daybreak: “This man is the chief executive of the NHS, he is ultimately responsible.

“He also played a bigger part in this disaster when he was chief executive of the strategic health authority. While hundreds were dying this man was in charge, and they died on his watch.”

Ms Bailey said Sir David’s apology was not sufficient, and questioned its timing, just three days before the publication of the Francis Report.

“He also said that quality wasn’t on the top of his agenda, finance was,” she said. “That to us is a sackable offence, never mind resigning.

“We are asking everybody throughout the country to write to their MPs to demand that this man resigns. We can’t allow hundreds of people to die and for nobody to be held accountable for this.

“This man is at the top of the NHS and he must resign, today.”