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NHS whistleblower whose parents suffered at Mid Staffs trust could lose job

Published 11/10/2016

Jade Taylor is facing the prospect of losing her job (PA)
Jade Taylor is facing the prospect of losing her job (PA)

An NHS whistleblower whose parents were mistreated during the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust is facing the prospect of losing her job.

NHS manager Jade Taylor, who has previously met with the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss the way whistleblowers are treated in the health service, said she is to be dismissed from her role at Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The dismissal comes after she raised a "plethora of concerns" including issues over patient safety, she said.

The 46-year-old, who has been off work sick for about a year due to stress and a mild heart condition, said she will be sacked from her role as team leader of intermediate care in Reading, on Wednesday.

Over the last three years she had raised concerns about a number of issues at the trust including unsafe staffing levels, bullying from senior managers and an "unsafe referral pathway", Miss Taylor said.

Miss Taylor, from Marlborough in Wiltshire, said she is acutely aware of safety issues after both her late mother and late stepfather suffered while receiving care at Mid Staffs.

In 2006 her stepfather received care at the now defunct trust, as well as two other NHS organisations. He later died after contracting an infection following surgery to remove a tumour, she said.

Then in 2008 her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, was seen at Stafford Hospital's A&E where she was admitted to stay overnight. Miss Taylor said her mother was discharged inappropriately on her own the next day which caused considerable distress to the family.

"Because of these experiences - whistleblowing was a real issue in Stafford - because of that I'm not going to give up on raising my concerns," she said.

"My late mum and step dad were in the Mid Staffs disaster, that has had its own impact.

"To go through the situation I have gone through where I have raised concerns where they haven't always been handled that well, and the process to support me through that has not been helpful at all."

When asked why she was being dismissed by the trust, she said: "They are saying that I have lost trust and confidence in them."

She added: "This is another case of whistleblower detriment, really."

Miss Taylor continued: "I am not resigning and I want to work at the trust. I haven't lost trust or confidence in them and I want them to deal with the investigations properly.

Miss Taylor, who has worked at the trust for five years, said she had not received an occupational health assessment, despite being off for almost a year.

The trained nurse said that earlier this year she had met with Jeremy Hunt and asked for a fresh public inquiry into whistleblowing.

She also gave evidence to Sir Robert Francis' Freedom to Speak review, she added.

A spokeswoman for Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: " We are unable to comment directly about Jade's case as it is ongoing and we respect her right to confidentiality.

" However, we take concerns about patient safety and quality of care extremely seriously and have a strong culture of encouraging and supporting our staff to speak up.

"To date, all whistleblowing cases raised with us have been thoroughly investigated to the full satisfaction of our regulators, and where necessary we have implemented improvements to address any lessons learned."

Miss Taylor is planning to stage a protest outside the Department of Health in Westminster this afternoon.

Press Association

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