by Ray Flemings

D AVID Cameron is probably right to retain Sir David Nicholson as Chief Executive of the National Health Service for the moment despite campaigns by the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and others for his resignation over the tragic and probably avoidable deaths at Mid Staffordshire Hospital. On 1 April some of the biggest changes ever made to the administration of the NHS will take place and Sir David has been in charge of these for more than two years. As one commentator put it yesterday, “He is one of the few people who understands the reforms introduced by Andrew Lansley, the former Conservative Health Minister.” Unfortunately it also has to be said that Mr Cameron is absolutely wrong to have shifted ground on responsibility for Mid Stafforshire. In early February he accepted the view of the Francis Report on the deaths that no minister should be blamed and specifically said that no scapegoats should be sought. But at Wednesday's Questions he implied that the last government was to blame and that the present opposition should also apologise. Worse still, in an article in Conservative Home the present Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has written that “The public will reasonably conclude that similar events could easily happen again if Labour regained power.” That is outrageous and Ed Miliband should be asking for an early and abject apology from Mr Hunt.