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Former Lincolnshire NHS chief Gary Walker welcomes Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's letter to trusts

By SMorris_LE  |  Posted: February 16, 2013

Comments (1)

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has written to all NHS trusts to urge them not to use gagging orders to stop staff raising concerns over care.

It comes after former United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust chief executive Gary Walker broke a similar order to raise concerns over hitting targets instead of concentrating on patient care.

He says he had no choice but to sign an agreement linked to a confidentiality clause in April 2011.

And Mr Walker has welcomed the move by the health secretary.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "I think it is a very positive move.

"I don't think it is simply about the Lincolnshire Trust," he added, while calling for an investigation into the "chain of command which he said included the Department of Health, the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority and ULHT.

"I don't think Mr Hunt can investigate his own department so I think he should be looking for somebody exceptionally independent from all of this.

The health secretary has said that staff with the courage and professional integrity to raise concerns over care should be encouraged and celebrated.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust said the gagging order was not about stopping people from raising concerns over care but it related to Mr Walker's employment proceedings.

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  • NHSstaff  |  February 17 2013, 8:16AM

    It is the unqualified staff of HR, who have never had any patient contact in their careers, that run ULHT, not the managers. The managers have to do what HR tell them to do or suffer as Mr Walker has shown. It is HR who have 'gagged Mr Walker. This is typical of the bullying nature of the HR department. Until they outsource the HR department and remove these bullies then standards ULHT will never improve because no one will dare speak out.

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