Hospital boss resigns over gaffe
Barrie Blower was being taped by a grieving daughter
A chairman of a NHS trust has resigned after he told a grieving relative that agency nurses "killed more people than they saved". Barrie Blower, head of Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust, made his comments while talking to the daughter of a woman who died while at Manor Hospital. He was taped saying: "They kill more people than they bloody save." But Tracy Davies, who made the recording, has apologised and said Mr Blower was wrong to step down. "I'm really sorry, I didn't know it was going to come to this. I can't imagine how he must be feeling," she told BBC Midlands Today. Mr Blower issued an apology and retracted his comments before quitting his post. They kill more people than they bloody save these do - it's an awful bloody set-up but we've got to have them
NHS trust chairman
In a letter to Sir William Wells, chairman of the NHS appointments commission, Mr Blower said it was "with a heavy heart and deep regret" he had decided to resign from his post. It read: "I have apologised unreservedly to my board, the hospital staff and the public for these remarks but I now believe it is in the best interest of the hospital that I leave." He said he had enjoyed the past five years at the hospital and he wished his successor every luck in the future. Ms Davies met Mr Blower in January to discuss the last hours of her mother's life. During the three-hour interview, the chairman told her there were problems with agency nurses. racy Davies met Mr Blower in January
In a recording passed to ITV's Central News, Mr Blower said: "We've got this awful set-up. We advertise in the Philippines and in India to attract nurses to be attached to the hospital to try and get rid of these agency people. "They kill more people than they bloody save these do, but it's an awful bloody set-up but we've got to have them." The trust said it would check and compare the number of incidents involving agency nurses and permanent staff. The trust's chief executive, Sue James said she was confident that checking their records would reassure any patients who were concerned. The way I chose to express this was completely inappropriate and inaccurate and I withdraw it unreservedly
NHS trust chairman
She said: "I don't expect to find anything untoward but I want to have the evidence to demonstrate that our patients can have every confidence in the care we offer, regardless of what type of nurse actually provides it." She added that all staff were vetted to ensure care standards were maintained and that agency nurses were a valuable part of the nursing and clinical teams. Mr Blower said he had been trying to put Mrs Davies at ease by empathising with her about how difficult it could be dealing with different agency staff. He added: "The way I chose to express this was completely inappropriate and inaccurate and I withdraw it unreservedly."