NHS whistle-blower abused online

An NHS whistle-blower who helped expose appalling failings at Stafford Hospital has been subjected to online abuse after receiving a CBE in the New Year Honours List.

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Julie Bailey helped expose failings at Stafford Hospital.

An NHS whistle-blower who helped expose appalling failings at Stafford Hospital has been subjected to online abuse after receiving a CBE in the New Year Honours List.

Julie Bailey, who was recognised for her services to the care of older people, said she was hurt by Facebook postings accusing her campaign group of "wrecking" health services in Stafford.

Several messages posted on the Support Stafford Hospital Facebook page criticised the decision to honour Ms Bailey, with one poster claiming the CBE was a "complete insult" to hard-working hospital staff.

Ms Bailey founded Cure the NHS after the death of her mother at the hospital in 2007, and led calls for a public inquiry which uncovered "terrible and unnecessary suffering" affecting hundreds of patients.

Administrators called in to oversee the hospital recommended last month that its services should be taken over by a neighbouring NHS trust.

Proposed changes which aim to save around £25 million per year have been criticised by local campaigners, who fear some services will now "dwindle away" from the town.

Ms Bailey, who has previously been subjected to online insults and threats, said of the latest abuse: "Cure the NHS had nothing to do with the changes to services at the hospital.

"Our priority has only ever been patient safety, if that means transferring services to other hospitals then we support that move.

"We must always ensure that others aren't harmed as our loved ones were.

"Sadly for some their priority is having a hospital on their doorstep and not patient safety."