Jeremy Hunt and David Nicholson: Patient Leadership Promises

Thu, 31 January 2013

National Voices Members conference, 31 January 2013

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said plans to put patient leadership at the heart of NHS culture will be revealed in the ‘imminent’ response to the ‘Francis Report’, the inquiry into failures at the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust. Meanwhile Sir David Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS Commissioning Board, said he planned to become a patient leader himself, having recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

The health leaders were speaking at a conference of National Voices members who met to discuss how people power will shape the new health and social care system.  They both talked about the failures in Mid Staffordshire.

Sir David Nicholson said:

“The only thing you could do in those circumstances, as a human being, never mind the chief executive of the NHS, as I am, is to apologise to those people and those carers and those families about the experience that they had. It was truly, truly dreadful.

“You can imagine that, for those patients and their relatives and carers, to be in a position where they've not only had bad things happen to them, but the organisation they look to, to provide them support and help in terms of investigating what happened, denied they happened, a terrible, terrible thing.”

Jeremy Hunt said:

“many of these things wouldn't have happened if we had been better at listening to what patients want and what patients feel”. 

Fellow speakers at the conference included Liz Kendall MP, Shadow Minister for Care & Older People;  Anna Bradley, Chair of HealthWatch England and Tim Kelsey, National Director of Patients & Information, NHS Commissioning Board. Conference chairs were Dr Helen Bevan OBE, Director of Transformation, NHS Institute and Lord Adebowale, Chief Executive of National Voices member, Turning Point.

Click to see coverage of the event in
•    The Daily Telegraph and
•    The Health Service Journal (subscriptions only).

Click for a transcript of speeches by Jeremy Hunt, David Nicholson and Anna Bradley and here for Liz Kendall’s website featuring her speech. A report and full transcript of the conference will be available here soon.

Delegates and others were tweeting under #layleaders.

For more information on National Voices visit; Twitter: @NVTweeting


For National Voices media enquiries please contact: Jules Acton or Sarah Scadding on 020 3176 0737 / 0738

About National Voices
National Voices is the national coalition of health and social care charities in England. We work together to strengthen the voice of patients, service users, carers, their families and the voluntary organisations that work for them. We have more than 150 members with 130 charity members and 20 professional and associate members. 
Our broad membership, rooted in people’s experience, represents millions of people, and covers a diverse range of health conditions and communities.
National Voices' website.