Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Paramedic suspended over comments

Campaigner Julie Bailey was targeted on Facebook by paramedic Roy Guest

A paramedic who wrote offensive comments on Facebook about a Stafford Hospital campaigner has been suspended.

Roy Guest was suspended from the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) register for posting "offensive and derogatory" comments about Cure the NHS campaigner Julie Bailey.

Former West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust worker Mr Guest posted comments about Ms Bailey on several occasions on the 'We support the front line staff at Stafford Hospital' Facebook page.

A HCPC spokeswoman said that he commented about Ms Bailey's late mother and their mother and daughter relationship.

Another comment stated: "I hope you suffer a life threatening illness..."

He was sacked from the ambulance service following an internal investigation.

The HCPC panel ruled that he should be suspended from the register for 12 months.

Panel chair Clair Bonnet said: "The panel concluded that his insight is limited. The registrant has not engaged with these proceedings at any stage.

"Whilst he sought to apologise to JB in writing, the panel considered that his draft letter was, to a significant degree, self-centred. It focussed more on the impact of his actions upon himself and his family, rather than on the impact upon JB or upon the reputations of the profession and / or the trust.

"The panel had no evidence before it of the registrant's current attitude or whether he had taken any steps to remediate his misconduct."

Ms Bailey has widely been credited for bringing the crisis at the hospital to light but has since suffered criticism from local residents.

She was forced to sell her cafe and move away from Stafford for fears about her safety.

Ms Bailey, who has since been awarded a CBE, set up the campaign group Cure the NHS after the death of her mother at the hospital in 2007.

Probes into the scandal revealed that poor care could have led to the deaths of hundreds of patients as a result of maltreatment and neglect. Many were left lying in their own urine and excrement for days, forced to drink water from vases or given the wrong medication.

Her campaign eventually led to a full public inquiry into the scandal which in turn has led to wider NHS reforms.

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