Andrew Bridgen is Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire. Follow Andrew on Twitter.
In 2011 when I commented on this website on the reforms to the structure of the NHS, I wrote that the organisation had ‘Stalinist Protectionist Elements’. At the time I was subjected to criticism from those who thought the phrase was too strong.
However the recent facts that have come to light about the scale of cover up in the NHS have only served to vindicate the point I made. First there is the case of former United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Chief Executive Gary Walker, paid half a million pounds in severance and issued with a gagging order after highlighting concerns about patient safety.
Secondly there is the response to my colleague Steve Barclay’s Parliamentary question which has found that In just three years there were 598 ‘special severance payments’, almost all of which carried confidentiality clauses, all at a cost of £14.7 million.
Had it not been for the public inquiry in the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, much of this may not have come to light. An enquiry it is clear the previous government did not want to happen as prior to 2010, Labour Health Secretaries, latterly the now shadow Secretary of State Andy Burnham rejected 81 requests for a full public enquiry.