Financial News

  • 16 February 2014, 18:10

Sir Stuart Rose To Become Top Health Adviser

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has recruited Sir Stuart Rose, the former chief executive of Marks & Spencer, to advise the Government on turning around failing hospitals.

Sir Stuart will examine how to improve the organisational culture in under-performing hospitals and ways to recruit talent from inside and outside the NHS.

A separate review will look at how the NHS can make better use of its existing best leaders which could involve them taking on struggling organisations or establishing national networks of NHS hospitals to improve patient care.

Sir Stuart, who left M&S in 2010 and is chairman of Ocado, will focus on the problems facing the 14 NHS trusts currently in special measures.

All 14 are reported by the Department of Health to be making progress, including employing more doctors, nurses and new managers.

Sir Stuart said: "Clearly the NHS is a very different institution from M&S, but leadership, motivating staff and creating a culture where people are empowered to do things differently are crucial to the success of any organisation, and I'm looking forward to helping in any way I can."

Sir Stuart, who will not be paid, will work until the end of the year when he will submit a short report to the Department of Health.

Mr Hunt said he was "delighted" that Sir Stuart has agreed to be his adviser.

"Everyone wants the peace of mind of knowing their local hospital offers good care - so turning round hospitals where this is not the case is a critical priority for me as Health Secretary," he said.

"Good care should never depend on your postcode, which is why new Ofsted-style hospital inspections are so important.

"But the difference between good and bad care can often lie in leadership, which is why I am delighted that one of the country's most inspirational leaders has agreed to advise me on how we can attract and retain the brightest and best managers into the NHS so we transform the culture in under-performing hospitals."

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Sir David Dalton has also been asked by the Government to look at how failing hospitals could benefit from being part of a national network, with access to the NHS's best leaders.

Shadow health minister Jamie Reed, responding to the Government announcement on NHS trusts in special measures, said: "These particular hospitals are struggling even more than most under this Government and extra support is welcome.

"When the trusts were put into special measures, David Cameron was told his inadequate staffing levels were to blame. He failed to heed that lesson and continued to preside over thousands of nursing job losses.

"The Government's re-organisation, nurse cuts and A&E crisis is making care problems more likely, not less."

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