Nicholson: ‘Prepare for press scrutiny’

Senior civil servants can no longer expect to remain out of the public eye, according to NHS England chief executive Sir David Nicholson, who has faced attacks from newspapers and patient groups over his involvement in the crisis at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.

By Suzannah.Brecknell

24 Sep 2013

said that the position in which civil servants do not “become the story” but remain in the background “facilitating ministers” is “untenable”.

“Over the last few years that position for any senior civil servant is becoming untenable,” he said, “because of the nature of social media and the way the media operates. We’re all being thrust into the public eye for a whole variety of reasons, not least because of our accountability for delivery”.

He added: “All civil servants need to think very carefully about how they equip themselves to deal with [this].”

Nicholson also said his relatives have been pursued by journalists. “As a civil servant I wasn’t equipped [for that], it absolutely wasn’t part of the deal,” he said, but “increasingly, it is [part of the deal], and I think we need to be aware of that.”

See more: Full interview with David Nicholson

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