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HEALTH Secretary Jeremy Hunt visited Basildon Hospital yesterday to announce a businessman will be stepping in to make the NHS more efficient.

Mr Hunt revealed Sir Stuart Rose, former boss at Marks & Spencer, as the man who will transform underperforming hospitals across the UK.

The health secretary took a tour with Basildon MP Stephen Metcalfe and talked to patients and staff.

Mr Hunt is visiting all hospitals which were investigated by last year’s Keogh inspections into poor death rates to see how they have improved.

Mr Metcalfe said: “His primary reason was to visit the hospital to see how it was making progress.

“But the other reason was to unveil Sir Stuart, who has been recruited to transform all underperforming hospitals.

He will be working with management and has had great experience at transforming large, complex organisations like Marks & Spencer.

“Coming in from the outside he will have a fresh pair of eyes and will hopefully be able to identify some opportunities where things need to change and where things aren’t being done as well.

“I was delighted he decided to make this announcement at Basildon Hospital.”

Mr Hunt yesterday spent some time on the paediatric ward.

He praised the improvements at the hospital after the Keogh inspections last year, which were called in to scrutinise the reason behind high death rates.

He said: “I had a fantastic afternoon on the paediatric ward and was really impressed by how committed the staff are.

“The hospital has clearly turned a big corner and is on the road to recovery, and people in Basildon can be really proud of the progress made.”