Julia Bailey holds placard showing Sir David Nicholson
Julia Bailey holds placard targeting Sir David Nicholson

A woman whose mother died in the scandal-hit Stafford Hospital has warned the man ultimately responsible for the hospital at the time: "We will follow you all over the country."

Julia Bailey told IBTimes UK that she would not rest until NHS boss Sir David Nicholson was held accountable for the shambles at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which caused a health crisis and led to hundreds of deaths.

She spoke on the day a defiant Nicholson told MPs on the health select committee that the NHS needed him more than ever.

Hauled in for a grilling by the committee over failings at the hospital, he dismissed suggestions that he should resign over the lack of care for patients, some of which happened while he was in charge of the regional health authority over Staffordshire.

Now chief executive of the entire NHS, he told MPs that the health service needed him because it faced its greatest challenge with the introduction of major health reforms.

Bailey looked on disbelief as he spoke.

She founded Cure the NHS in the wake of her mother's death five year ago. She insisted her mother would be alive today, but died because of inadequate care driven by a strong focus on meeting targets, which came from the top.

Part of problem, not solution

Bailey told IBTimes UK: "I'm very disappointed. It did not fill me with any confidence that he is the man to be in charge and to take the NHS into a future where it is safe for patients. He is part of the problem, not the solution.

"Nothing will change while that man is in charge of the NHS. I said that during his time at Mid Staffs he was aware of the mortality statistics but they were printed in the national press so if I could see them. Why was he not looking at these key indicators?"

Prime Minister David Cameron has given his backing to Nicholson, insisting that he should not be made into a "scapegoat" for what went wrong.

"I am absolutely the right person to take the NHS forward," Nicholson told the health committee.

But Bailey was adamant that he was the wrong person.

"If David Cameron wants to cure the NHS and stop people losing their lives, then he needs to get rid of this man Nicholson," she said.

"He deserves to be stripped of his knighthood. We are [checking] our legal options at how we can take this forward. We will be a thorn in his side and follow him all over the country because nothing will change until he is gone.

"If we did not do this, then our relatives deaths would have been in vain."