Whistleblowers hailed as heroes by trust chief
A DERRIFORD Hospital boss has said whistleblowers should be "treated like heroes" in the wake of one of the biggest scandals ever to hit the NHS.
Richard Crompton, the chairman of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the city's main hospital, made the comments following a report into failings at Stafford Hospital.
Up to 1,200 patients are believed to have died between January 2005 and March 2009 as a result of poor care.
The Francis Report, published yesterday following a lengthy public enquiry, revealed "serious failures" on the part of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust board.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Concerns had been raised about the treatment of so-called whistleblowers in the NHS.
Speaking just after the report was made public, Mr Crompton said: "Those who put up their hands to report poor care or problems should be treated like heroes."
He made the comments as he said he hoped the "mistakes of Mid Staffs can never be repeated."
Mr Crompton said patient care would always come first, that board members and managers must be seen on wards, that staff should be praised and that poor care, or lack of respect and compassion for patients, would never be accepted.
Mr Crompton also said targets were important – but only if they help the trust to improve its care.
However, he admitted there was "a long way to go".
Ann James, the trust's chief executive, added: "The report makes for disturbing reading.
"It is a very sad commentary on how a trusted service can fail to provide the basic standards of care we would all expect for our loved ones.
"It gives those of us who are responsible for providing healthcare much to consider and reflect on.
"The hard work and dedication of our staff to giving good quality care and respecting patients' dignity whilst doing so, gives us much to be proud of here.
"However, we don't get it right for every patient, every time. When we don't, the first duty we have is to be open with the affected patient and their family and say sorry.
"We are working hard to create an open and learning culture here in Plymouth. We all have a duty to learn the lessons from Mid-Staffs."
See Page 8
Comment – Page 11