Feb 7 2013
Complaints about care in the NHS are coming in from all over the country, a campaigner whose mother died at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital has said.
Julie Bailey called for changes at the top of the organisation and said not one person had been held to account for the failings in Staffordshire.
A report by Robert Francis QC published on Wednesday highlighted the "appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of patients" at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2009.
Patients were left for hours sitting in their own faeces, food and drink was left out of reach and hygiene was so poor that relatives had to clean toilets themselves.
Later, it emerged that five more trusts - Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust - are to be investigated after they had higher-than-average death rates two years running.
The families of those who suffered in Staffordshire have called for NHS chief Sir David Nicholson and Royal College of Nursing (RCN) chief executive Peter Carter to resign.
Miss Bailey, who set up campaign group Cure The NHS after her 86-year-old mother Bella died in 2007, told BBC Breakfast: "From all over the country I get emails asking for help, help for the complaints procedure, people that are actually suffering on the wards today, asking for help, from the particular hospitals that have been identified last night, but also other hospitals.
"I can take these complaints down to particular wards within hospitals, they are so frequent, but there's just nobody to help these people, and this is the huge problem that's going on throughout the whole of the country. We know the NHS does some wonderful things but we also know it's doing some awful things to people, and they're our most vulnerable."
Miss Bailey said there needed to be changes at the top of the NHS and denied that she was seeking scapegoats. She said: "This isn't scapegoating, these people have failed, these people knew what was going on at that hospital, these people had a responsibility, Peter Carter had a responsibility for his workforce, and Sir David Nicholson had a responsibility for patients."
Mr Carter told the programme he had no intention of resigning, saying: "Robert Francis was quite clear that the responsibility lay with the trust board and other bodies who had responsibility." He said it was necessary to get behind the Francis Report and implement its recommendations.