I am writing with reference to your article on Healthcare Commission.standards published on the 15 March 2007 on page 5 that referred to me by name.
In it Anna Walker claimed that Stoke Mandeville and the Trust should have come to the Healthcare Commission with their concerns 'as people began to die' following an outbreak of clostridium difficile. I refer you to the figures published two months ago which demonstrate quite clearly that virtually every Trust in the country has had people dying in the last two years of clostridium difficile, many in far higher numbers than those found at Stoke Mandeville. I trust all chief executives who have had any fatalities that name C diff on the death certificate will contact Anna for her assistance.
However before rushing to do that, they may like to check with other chief executives who have asked the commission for assistance and found themselves out of a job as a result.
Its position of 'awarding' merit ratings to the health service means that most CEOs and trusts, even when they know they are being unjustly criticised, are in no position to hit back. This has been in part responsible for the increasing difficulty in appointing and keeping chief executives in the health service.
Their lack of accountability must cease - Ian Kennedy and Anna Walker must look hard at their own organisation.
Ruth Harrison, former chief executive, Stoke Mandeville Hospital