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Bernard Jenkin MP: NHS targets 'are not values'

6 November 2013 Last updated at 09:06 GMT

Colchester General Hospital in Essex has been reported to the police, after staff said they were being pressured to change data about waiting times for cancer patients.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals in England, stated it was shocking that lives may have been put at risk, for the sake of waiting time figures.

Speaking to the Today programme, Christina McAnea, Unison's national secretary for health, said: "We think there should be a police investigation into what happened here, and we think there needs to be a complete change to the way, particularly junior members of staff, are spoken to and are listened to.

"This is about people across every grade within the hospital, having a responsibility to speak out when things go wrong," she added.

Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex and chair of the Public Administration Select Committee, said: "The whole point about the leadership in our public services is that it can't just be about targets."

He explained: "We mustn't replace values with targets, targets are not values. Targets do not tell you what is the right thing to do."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday 6 November 2013.

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