I am pleased to report that East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust has started to make good progress since it was placed in special measures last August. That includes improved incident reporting rates, a revised policy enabling staff to raise concerns, and the creation of a cultural change programme.
Does not the Secretary of State’s answer highlight the fact that the best way of dealing with long-term and deep-set problems is to put patients first and ensure that there is a culture of transparency? Does that not contrast sharply with the denial and cover-ups that we have seen too often in the past?
Absolutely. I think that what shocks people is Labour trying to make political capital out of winter pressures in the NHS, and then sweeping the poor care that happened on its watch under the carpet. We are making great progress at East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust: there are 82 more nurses, and more than 100 more doctors. That is because we are facing up to the problems, not running away from them.