A campaigner whose mother died at an NHS hospital criticised over disastrous standards of care told an inquiry she still has “huge concerns” about the treatment of vulnerable patients.
Julie Bailey set up the campaign group Cure The NHS after her 86-year-old mother, Bella Bailey, died at Stafford Hospital, which has been accused of putting targets and cost-cutting ahead of patient welfare.
It has been claimed that hundreds of patients died at the hospital, which is run by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, as a result of sub-standard treatment.
Giving evidence at a public inquiry in Stafford into care provided by the trust between 2005 and 2008, Miss Bailey said although conditions appear to have improved “a lot”, her campaign group continued to receive “very worrying complaints” about the hospital.
She said: “I believe things have improved a lot at the hospital.
“We’re getting far less complaints but we are still getting very worrying complaints coming through to us.
“We have still got huge concerns about what is going on at the hospital regarding vulnerable and elderly patients.”
Miss Bailey told the inquiry that NHS complaints handling had improved “very much” in recent years, but added: “Until the NHS welcomes complaints, only then can we improve things in the NHS.”
Following the death of her mother in November 2007, Miss Bailey lobbied for an open investigation into how appalling standards of care were allowed to persist at the hospital.
The inquiry, chaired by Robert Francis QC, was launched earlier this month.