Stafford NHS campaigners go national

By Alex Stevenson

A small group of campaigners who have sought change at Stafford hospital are launching a bid to help others set up similar pressure groups.

Cure The NHS was founded two years ago after the first revelations about poor standards at Mid-Staffordshire primary care trust emerged.

Its founder, Julie Bailey, and a group of other family and friends of those who received poor care are aiming to help others around Britain by teaching them how to put pressure on their own hospitals.

“It’s now over two years since we set up our group to highlight the disaster at Stafford hospital and to fight for major changes across the NHS and we’ve learned an enormous amount,” Ms Bailey said.

“What we’ll be doing during Thursday is to share what we’ve learned with lots people from across the UK who have also lost their loved ones.”

Cure The NHS has prepared a ‘toolkit’ which will help other groups improve their ability to call NHS staff to account.

It argues that medics rather than managers should be in charge of NHS hospitals. It attacks the government’s “obsession” with targets and claims “bullying is accepted as a fact of life across the NHS from top to bottom”.

A spokesman added: “Why people should have to struggle with the NHS like this is ridiculous and, hopefully, the next government, whoever forms it will adopt a completely different and open approach.”

Anger at the failings at Stafford hospital has made the seat’s Labour incumbent David Kidney extremely vulnerable to the Conservatives.

Mr Kidney is defending a 2,121 majority against Tory challenger Jeremy Lefroy.