MP baffled on Trust 'failings'
A FORMER health minister told a public inquiry into "catastrophic" standards of care at an NHS Trust that alarm bells about the failings rang 'inexplicably' late.
Ben Bradshaw, who served as Minister of State for Health Services between 2007 and 2009, told the inquiry into neglect at Stafford Hospital that he would have expected GPs and the local media to have raised concerns sooner.
Mr Bradshaw acknowledged that Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust was already a 'disaster' when it was granted foundation status in February 2008.
The Labour MP questioned why disquiet about Mid Staffordshire only 'took off' after the Healthcare Commission launched an inquiry into the trust.
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Mr Bradshaw told the public inquiry: "What astounded me was why there weren't much louder alarm bells ringing or red lights flashing long before that.
"The level of complaints, the level of local public and media disquiet really took off in December 2007 to January 2008, as I understand it.
"That to me is still the most inexplicable element to this whole sorry saga. I hope that this inquiry can find answers as to why that was."
Mr Bradshaw questioned why whistleblowers or outside bodies in the Stafford area had not raised more concern about the local hospital before the Healthcare Commission investigation began.