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Death rate probe: Steve Baker urges hospital staff to whistleblow
MP Steve Baker has urged staff who might be concerned about issues at Bucks hospitals to whistleblow - saying now is the time to speak out.
On Monday a senior health official announced an investigation into the number of deaths at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust - CLICK HERE.
Mr Baker, Conservative MP for Wycombe, said: "I welcome this probe very much because we’ve all been deeply concerned. With the cock-ups we’ve seen recently the public are bound to see this in the context I’ve seen it.
"The NHS must answer for itself. It’s a good opportunity for them to be transparent about what’s happening and why.
"If it turns out there’s no good reason for this the people at the top will have to be held accountable. But I am open-minded about the investigation and it is possible the figures are justifiable, in which case the review could be cause for confidence.
"To those people who want to blow the whistle on the NHS they should do it now. I would implore staff to take this opportunity to use the official whistle-blowing channels and, if necessary, to come and see me with relevant information.
"I’m very happy to see anyone who feels that’s necessary and would keep their identity in strict confidence."
In December, Buckinghamshire Healthcare’s medical director Dr Graz Luzzi attacked the way mortality rates were used by the Dr Foster Hospital Guide, saying the report appeared ‘flawed and misleading’ - CLICK HERE
He pointed out the trust also provides hospice care, so sees a higher percentage of elderly, frail and terminally ill patients compared to others.
But the investigation into the mortality rates brings more unwanted headlines, following the ‘cock-ups’ referred to by Mr Baker.
In January bosses apologised for the way an 85-year-old dementia sufferer was sent home in a taxi from Stoke Mandeville Hospital at 2am wearing only a hospital gown.
A week later an inquest heard how frail Wycombe Hospital patient Edward Maitland died from aspiration pneumonia in January 2012 after he was wrongly fed meals on a ward - see related links.