Big task to change the culture within our NHS

NHS logo. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
NHS logo. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

As I said in the Commons recently, Pendle residents are rightly proud of our NHS. I am, too.

That’s why I am delighted we will see increased investment in East Lancashire NHS this year and spending on the NHS go up by more than £12.5 billion by 2015 nationally.

I know many people are looking forward to opening of the new multi-million pound health centre in Colne and the new £9m. Urgent Care Centre at Burnley General Hospital.

However, from Morecambe Bay to Mid-Staffordshire and now even in the body that is supposed to regulate the NHS, the Care Quality Commission, we have seen a series of deeply troubling scandals take place in the NHS.

All too often, scandals were covered up and people died needlessly.

To solve this, it is important the NHS is run transparently and its people held to account when things go badly wrong.

That is why I asked the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, how he will be reassuring patients the culture of secrecy and neglect that was allowed to develop under the previous government will now be torn apart and replaced by a transparent, accountable health service that treats patients with dignity, not as numbers.

The Health Secretary told me the big challenge for the NHS is to make that culture change.

This would be difficult in any large organisation but with 1.3 million employees, the challenge for the NHS can seem daunting.

However, the way to change is by tapping into the desire every doctor, nurse and healthcare professional has to do their jobs to the highest standards, in the interests of patients.

Parts of the culture of the NHS may have gone rotten, but the incredible people I meet who work for it have not.