“These further revelations in today’s Daily Mail are just the latest in a steady stream of allegations that seriously call into question how our local NHS in Lincolnshire was run under the previous Labour Government.
“The suggestion by Gary Walker, the United Lincolnshire Hospital’s NHS Trust’s former Chief Executive, and other senior executives at the Trust, that the pressure put on them by the former Head of East Midlands Strategic Health Authority, Dame Barbara Hakin, to hit Labour’s misguided NHS targets at the expense of patient safety, is of the utmost seriousness.
“Today, whilst my predecessor as Lincoln’s MP, the former Health Minister Gillian Merron, has moved on, Dame Hakin is the current Deputy Chief Executive of the NHS and Andy Burnham, as Shadow Health Secretary, remains ultimately responsible for The Labour Party’s NHS policies.
“I have long believed that these allegations need to be more thoroughly investigated and so I can only welcome the decision by the General Medical Council to look again at if - and to what extent - our local NHS’s abysmal patient safety record under the previous Labour Government was covered up.
“The system of ignoring or punishing whistleblowers that prevailed under Labour was simply unacceptable. As I said at the time, and have repeated since, I believe the Labour Ministers at the time were happy to brush bad news under any carpet.
“Since then as Lincoln’s Member of Parliament, I have supported the extensive efforts that Conservative Ministers have taken to promote openness and transparency in the NHS.
“Unlike under Labour, whistleblowers are now actively encouraged to speak out about bad practice and poor care, and they have been given increased protections when they do so.”
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