If Labour wins the next election, it has committed to ensure that NHS managers found guilty of major wrongdoing are barred under a “proper system of accountability.”
The Government, according to the Opposition, has “dragged its feet” in terms of enhancing executive accountability in the health care.
Since the Lucy Letby case, where whistleblowers’ worries about the child serial killer were not heeded for months before she was finally relieved of her frontline duties, calls for this have increased.
Senior doctors at the Countess of Chester Hospital, where the 33-year-old nurse committed her year-long murderous rampage on the neonatal ward, have suggested that hospital administrators should be subject to the same regulations as physicians and nurses.
According to the party, a Labour government will establish a professional regulatory structure with professional standards and training for those in charge of hospitals to improve accountability and patient safety.
Once Labour is in power, a regulatory body with the authority to suspend and expel managers for significant wrongdoing will be created.
Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said: “The appalling murders at the Countess of Chester hospital are not the first time whistleblowers have been ignored, when listening to their warnings could have saved lives.
“NHS leaders have enormous responsibility for the health of their patients, yet currently face less regulation than bank managers.
“To protect patient safety, this must change. The case for a proper system of accountability has been made again and again. Labour will introduce this in office, and make sure those found guilty of serious misconduct are disbarred.
“Labour will also implement strong professional standards and training for managers, to foster excellent leadership throughout our health service.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “There are a number of systems and processes in place to ensure accountability of NHS directors.
“NHS England has recently strengthened these through the introduction of the Fit and Proper Person Framework, which includes a set of standard competencies for board directors, a means of retaining information regarding individual directors and a new board member reference template. We keep this policy under active review.”