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NHS Safety Cover Up Costs £500,000 In Hush Money

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NHS boss Sir David Nicholson faces a new crisis after former United Lincolnshire Hospital trust Chief Executive publicises his safety concerns about the hospital’s high incidence of deaths.

David Walker, the former boss says he was paid to keep quiet over the hospital after he wrote a letter to the NHS chief highlighting his worries. He says that the trust could easily become the next ‘Mid-Staffordshire’ if Sir David does not take cognisance.

Safety warnings ignored

Mr. Walker wrote the letter four years ago when his specific concerns about death rates and patient safety were stressed. He says his warnings were followed up with his dismissal a year later and half a million pounds in exchange for keeping silent.

Mr. Walker puts the failings down to the prioritisation of achieving targets within the NHS and neglecting the care of patients.

Mr. Walker believes that Sir David Nicholson doesn’t care about the safety of patients and should resign. He says the CEO is responsible for maintaining a ‘fear culture’ within the organisation which was detrimental to patient care.

He said: ‘I warned him that Lincolnshire was going to become the next Mid Staffordshire. He didn’t investigate those concerns, and now look what’s happened.’

Mr. Walker added that managers had had it made clear to them that their jobs relied on them achieving necessary objectives.

An investigation into the allegations is now underway and there may have been up to 500 needless deaths at the hospital.

Calls for NHS boss to resign

Sir David said he is not ashamed to remain in his position as NHS CEO in the aftermath of the Mid-Staffordshire hospital scandal. Staffordshire patients’ relatives had demanded his resignation 7 years ago when he failed to take action while in his regional post. The scandal arose due to a severe lack of patient care and the 1200 deaths which resulted.

A spokesperson for the NHS Commissioning Board said that Sir David commissioned a thorough independent review after receiving news of David Walker’s claims. He said: “Following {the review} it was concluded that no evidence whatsoever was found of bullying and harassment by the Trust or SHA (Strategic health authority).”

The spokesperson added: “Allegations made by Mr. Walker regarding behaviour at the SHA have been independently investigated and found to be without merit.”

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Disclaimer

Jefferies Solicitors accepts no responsibility for the validity of the content in this post. This information is taken from various news feeds.

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Published 11th February 2015.

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