Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

PRESS RELEASE: Three Patient Safety campaigners Will Powell, Delilah Hesling and Jade Taylor, brought together through tragic circumstances which span 26 years met with the Secretary of State for Health, Mr Jeremy Hunt on 3rd February 2016

The purpose of the meeting was to express their concerns about the inept NHS complaint procedures and the appalling way in which whistle-blowers are treated.

Will Powell’s deceased son’s case identified the absence of legal Duty of Candour in healthcare back in 1996. Robbie’s case went to the High Court, Court of Appeal, House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled in May 2000: “Whilst it is arguable that doctors had a duty not to falsify medical records under the common law (Sir Donaldson MR’s “duty of candour”), before Powell v Boladz there was no binding decision of the courts as to the existence of such a duty. As the law stands now, however, doctors have no duty to give parents of a child who died as a result of their negligence a truthful account of the circumstances of the death, nor even to refrain from deliberately falsifying records.”
As a consequence of Robbie’s case and the efforts of the Powells’ campaign, to change this perverse law, there was a legal Duty of Candour introduced in November 2014.

In 2006 Jade Taylor’s late step father became caught up in the Mid Staffordshire NHS Disaster where an estimated 400-1200 people died unnecessarily. Following this Jade’s late mother was then admitted to Stafford Hospital’s A&E and Emergency Assessment Unit, in early 2008, where she received an appalling lack of care and treatment with nurses falsifying A&E waiting time breaches to meet hospital targets. As an NHS Manager Jade also has experience of raising patient safety concerns, which were later founded, and was a contributor to Sir Robert Francis’s Freedom to Speak-up Review.

Also in 2006 Delilah Hesling became an NHS whistle-blower and started to unravel abuse within Brighton NHS. As with many whistle-blowers Delilah attempted to raise these serious issues through the appropriate official channels but was blatantly ignored and punished for doing so. However, following the NHS exposure by Panorama, which involved brave Nurse Margaret Heywood, Delilah became the country’s very first Patient Safety Ombudsman and whistleblowing guardian as referred to by Sir Robert Francis QC in his recent Freedom to Speak-up Review.

The meeting with the Secretary of State for Health was not looking at the personal cases of the three campaigners. This is a meeting at which the campaigners represented the voices of all patients, families and NHS whistle-blowers. Solutions were discussed to address current issues that are still continuing to show failings and/or corrupt practices within all parts of the current NHS systems. They also raised with Mr Hunt the absence of accountability within the NHS. The three say they did not hold back their criticisms of the NHS as the days of covering up errors, fatalities and the vilifying of whistle-blowers must be brought to an end.

Click on the link below to read the minutes of the meeting with Jeremy Hunt

Private meeting with the Secretary of State for Health

Will Powell                                Delilah Hesling

Will Powell  Delilah

Jade Taylor


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