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LIVE: Former Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust bosses give patient safety evidence to MPs

By MarkWilliams  |  Posted: March 19, 2013

Gary Walker

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Former United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust bosses Gary Walker and David Bowles are today giving evidence to MPs about patient safety.

They are speaking at the health committee which will discuss matters arising from the report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry.

Mr Walker has claimed he was gagged by ULHT in April, 2011.

But ULHT bosses say the agreement at the end of Gary Walker's employment related only to "employment issues."

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  • JohnChelt  |  March 19 2013, 12:42PM

    People who have never worked in a govt department simply don't understand that the culture in them governs everything you do. They assume they're reasonably efficient like most private companies, but in fact the two are very different. I worked for the FCO for 18 yrs. The culture was exactly the same as Messrs Walker and Bowles describe, namely to cover up, cover up, cover up, go into a denial and pretend everything's fine, whenever someone points out a problem. The cover-up is designed to prevent 'outsiders' looking at the organisation more closely, rather than admit there might be a problem. In govt departments, if you point out any problem which the person above you wants covered up (usually to conceal the fact that they're incompetent), you're simply told the problem doesn't exist. If you persist, you're then told that YOU are the problem and are bullied/rubbished/undermined in order to shut you up, or failing that, squeeze you out. The 'gagging orders' and appalling treatment of 'whistle-blowers' are all part of this. In my last job at the FCO the office I was in was falling apart. Everyone knew it. However, I was expected to pretend that all was fine. Not all of us can maintain this level of pretence indefinitely and eventually I made the mistake of reporting the problem. From this point I was doomed. An instant denial followed, I was told I was 'imagining' the problem and warned several times that if I persisted in 'making waves', I risked losing my job. Three years' bullying followed and I was eventually squeezed out on 'health' grounds, despite doing a very good job and not wanting to leave. The same seems to have happened to these two people. ULHT was and is clearly dysfunctional and will probably continue to be until someone removes the incompetent managers. So I take my hat off to Messrs Walker and Bowles for doing the right thing and putting patients before their own careers -- even though, unfortunately, it seems to have cost both of them their jobs.

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