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Failing hospitals 'are in denial'

Some failing NHS hospitals are ‘in denial’ about the inadequate care and services offered for patients, a top medical watchdog has said.

In an interview with The Independent, Chief Inspector of Hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “There is huge variation in the NHS and I would go further than that and say there is an unacceptable variation in what is a nationalised health service.

“There are those that are somewhat in denial about their current position. That’s not a healthy state to be in.

“Some hospitals really haven’t looked outside. They haven’t looked at the rest of the world for what looks like decades. They haven’t realised the world has moved on. It’s not as if they are thousands of miles away from civilisation.

“They can be quite close to other hospitals but they haven’t really looked to see what other people are doing. That’s where we need much greater learning across hospitals.”

Before his appointment, Sir Mike Richards worked as a hospital physician for more than 20 years, including as a consultant medical oncologist, and later became National Cancer Director at the Department of Health.