Gary Walker is standing against health minister Gillian Merron in the marginal seat of Lincoln. As reported in the Sunday Telegraph, the ex-chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, says that targets are
“killing patients and destroying the NHS”
Mr Walker was dismissed over allegations of using bad language, but he says it was because of his refusal to implement targets set by ministers that he was levered out.
The chairman of the same trust, David Bowles, resigned in 2009 over the same issues.
The arguments over Mr Walker’s departure notwithstanding, it is surprising that more chairmen and chief executives are not leaving over the target culture that is damaging our hospitals and other public services. Hopefully the others are seeking better ways, for example using Lean in the NHS to provide better care and cut costs.
I wish Mr Walker well in his campaign even if it only serves to raise awareness of the damage targets, league tables and inspection does to patients in hospitals and to public services in general.