Letters

It was with dismay that I read the headline on your news story about the Commission for Health Improvement's review of Isle of Wight Healthcare trust ('Leaders' failure to grasp nettle puts patients in jeopardy - CHI', pages 6-7, 15 November).

This raised the art of 'management bashing' to new levels. From your editorials in recent months I mistakenly thought that your journal recognised the damage which is caused by this approach, but you have not been able to resist the temptation in your reports on CHI reviews, and it is now the Isle of Wight's turn.

Like many other trusts, we have seen an unprecedented increase in medical emergencies admitted to St Mary's, which has led to medical outliers in surgical wards and cancellation of some routine surgical operations. This inevitably affects the quality of patient care, but our doctors, nurses and support staff have responded magnificently to the situation, which has been largely resolved. We also accept CHI's findings that we need to improve the management of care.

However, this falls far short of putting patients in jeopardy as your headline states.

CHI reviews are an important tool in providing an independent assessment of what needs to be done to improve clinical governance, and we have responded to the report positively. It is a pity that your journal seems to see them as opportunities for hard-hitting headlines, which makes the task of addressing the issues much more difficult.

You do not say that patients contacted by CHI were overwhelmingly happy with the care they received at St Mary's. The measure of the success of any service business is satisfying one's customers.

Why should healthcare be an exception?

Allan Munds Chair Isle of Wight Healthcare trust