Inquiry hears from top nurse
THE Government's Chief Nursing Officer has told a public inquiry into catastrophic failings at Stafford Hospital that more needs to be done to support whistle-blowing within the health service.
Dame Christine Beasley told the inquiry it was very difficult to explain why concerns about standards of care were not reported or discovered sooner.
The public inquiry, which began in November, aims to build on the work of an earlier independent investigation which identified a catalogue of failings by the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2009.
The independent inquiry, which ended in February last year, criticised the Mid Staffordshire Trust for being preoccupied with cost-cutting while providing appalling standards of care.
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In a written statement to the inquiry, Dame Christine said: "Sometimes it can be quite difficult for professional individuals to challenge another nurse or doctor within the medical profession."
Dame Christine added: "There is undisputedly more work to be done on whistle-blowing.
"To ensure whistle-blowing genuinely works, people need to feel they are free to whistle-blow in good faith without fear of victimisation."
The hearing, at council offices in Stafford, was adjourned until Monday.