Health trusts and impossible performance targets

“The QC who carried out a review of failures at the Mid Staffs Hospital five years ago says that a similar collapse is ‘inevitable’ under current circumstances where some health trusts are accepting impossible performance targets.

In an interview with Shaun Lintern for the Health Service Journal, Robert Francis QC warned of a “a real danger of a relapse” unless the present NHS leadership continue to focus on the lessons learned in Staffordshire.

The QC described a repetition of the same problems as “inevitable” in cases where financial stress is combined with unrealistic targets. He said: “If you look at the number of trusts who are not only in deficit but won’t agree their control targets, the fact some are not agreeing their control targets is good because it means they are saying we can’t actually do that and carry on the service you want us to provide.

But there will be those that have said ‘yes’ when they actually can’t do it. Absolutely yes, that is a danger. …”