Julie Bailey: Enemy of the People

30 May 2013

10:49 AM

30 May 2013

10:49 AM

They’re running Julie Bailey out of town. The poison pen letters, foul-mouthed phone calls, slashed tyres, shit through the letterbox, boycott of her cafe and attacks on her mother’s grave have become too much.

Stafford’s upstanding citizens, or a good number of them, want her gone. So she is leaving her home and business, and looking for a better place.

‘People come up to me in the street and just start bawling,’ she told me. ‘I can’t go out by myself. I always need someone with me’”

Bailey had been the public face of the campaign to highlight the conditions inside Stafford Hospital. She showed that nurses left food and drink out of patients’ reach and that those in agony screamed for pain relief that never came. For many, Stafford Hospital was a torture chamber.

A proportion of the nurses ‘didn’t really want to be on the ward caring for patients and showed total disregard for their welfare,’ Bailey said when the report was published. And, of course, Stafford’s managers and the managers of the NHS in Whitehall did not want to know. Bailey started fighting after her mother went into this death trap. ‘Over a period of eight weeks they managed to destroy a strong, brave woman.’ Bailey remembered. ‘She was left begging for her life.’

Now the fight is over and a terrified NHS if reforming. But far from celebrating Julie Bailey’s achievement in bringing the scandal to light, and, we should not forget, saving Stafford patients from an early death in the process, Stafford has turned on her.

As the local paper said,

One caller told her they hoped ‘she dies on the way to hospital’ and she received a card ‘thanking’ her for her “hard work in closing Stafford Hospital”. The card, which has been passed to police, reportedly read: “Thank you for closing Stafford hospital, Ha, Ha, Ha, you better now spend more time watching your mother’s grave.”


It’s not just thugs. Stafford’s worthies are not keen on praising Ms Bailey either. Two friends on the borough council proposed a motion to thank her and her fellow campaigners ‘for their invaluable contribution in highlighting the need for improvements in patient care’ and to ask the authorities to do what they could to identify her abusers.

The council leader didn’t like it. The motion was ‘too evocative’, he said, and ordered an anodyne alternative instead.

Why are they hounding her? She has helped prevent her neighbours’ suffering, and maybe saved lives. A short answer is that Bailey took on powerful interests: the NHS, the borough and county council, which were both criticised by the inquiry, and the Labour Party, which cannot face what happened in the hospital on its watch. But there is more to it than the powerful turning on a woman who challenged them.

I don’t agree with Conservatives about much at the moment, but when they talk about the cult of the NHS, I can see their point. People don’t want to know about abuse at the hands of doctors and nurses. They will read about the incompetence of managers, certainly, and the danger of cuts to hospital budgets. But they do not like news that the people who care for them – before whom they lie powerless and vulnerable – are not always the angels of hospital dramas. Or as Bailey puts it, ‘the public doesn’t want to believe that the NHS is unsafe, even though small general hospitals, which are jacks of all trades and masters of none are dangerous.’

And suppose the scandal closes the whole hospital. (It is unlikely, but possible.) Stafford is not poor by the standards of the West Midlands. But it remains over-dependent on the public sector – the county council, the Staffordshire Police headquarters, the prison and the hospital. In other words, Stafford hospital does not just provide treatment but much appreciated jobs and income.

Stafford today is not angry about neglect but about threats to services and the local economy. Forty thousand people have signed a petition against a proposal to close Stafford’s A&E department . Some are in denial. When I mentioned the scandal in passing a few years ago, I received furious phone calls from readers claiming that the stories of death and vindictiveness were all lies. Many people in Stafford cling on to that comforting illusion. Others may not be wholly irrational, however. If you think you won’t be mistreated, or if you think that standards have improved, you may want an A&E close by just in case.

Whistle blowers are rarely treated as heroes. Those around them wish they had not brought disgrace on their company or government department or town or tribe or sect: even if what they said was right – especially if what they said was right. By breaking taboos and speaking plainly, they delight the company/department/town/tribe/sect’s rivals and enemies, and expose those around them to danger. If you want to know why truly free societies are so rare, don’t just think about dictators and hierarchies but consider how hard it is to go against everyone you know.


In Ibsen’s Enemy of the People, Dr Thomas Stockmann infuriates a small Norwegian town by warning that contaminated water is filling the local baths – a lucrative tourist attraction. He’s right, but the town’s people turn on him, just as they have turned on Julie Bailey. If they admit the water is dangerous, they will have to spend a fortune on cleaning up the supply, and the bad publicity would destroy the tourist trade.

His brother, Peter, who is also the mayor, tells him to stay quiet.

Peter Stockmann. You have an ingrained tendency to take your own
way, at all events; and, that is almost equally inadmissible in a
well ordered community, The individual ought undoubtedly to
acquiesce in subordinating himself to the community–or, to speak
more accurately, to the authorities who have the care of the
community’s welfare.

Dr. Stockmann. Very likely. But what the deuce has all this got
to do with me?

Peter Stockmann. That is exactly what you never appear to be
willing to learn, my dear Thomas. But, mark my words, some day
you will have to suffer for it–sooner or later.

When I spoke to Julie Bailey she sounded very tired. She’s lived in Stafford all her life. Now her neighbours have driven her out for refusing to subordinate herself to the community. She’s looking for a new home – ‘a caravan would do’ – a long way away.

They believe that she’s made sure that when people hear Stafford’s name they will think of the hospital scandal.

I believe – or at least hope – that they have made sure when people hear Stafford’s name they will think of the town that persecuted Julie Bailey for telling the truth.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the Healthcare Commission found four hundred patients ‘had their lives cut short’ because of the ‘cruel conditions inside Stafford Hospital’, and that some also ‘had to drink water from flower vases’. The Healthcare Commission’s 2008 investigation into patient care at Stafford Hospital was triggered after concerns were raised about high patient mortality. The figure of four hundred was based on the Trust’s HSMR [Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio], which showed four hundred more deaths than expected. The Commission’s report did not establish a causal link between the ‘excess deaths’ and failings in patient care, nor was there any mention in this – or subsequent reports – of patients having had to drink from vases’

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Show comments
  • barrydavies

    Pity this woman who was not driven out of Stafford has done irreparable harm to the hospital, and caused harm to the people of Stafford especially the children whose lives have been put at risk because of her claims.

  • Mark Timmins

    How odd that a town would turn on a hero. Ever stop to think perhaps, just maybe, something isn’t quite right?

  • Shaun Lucas

    A few rather belated points that I believe are still relevant:

    Ms Bailey did not contact the police over her alleged “hate campaign”, only the media. The police then contacted her, and following an investigation found no evidence to back up her claims.

    Stafford is not Ms Bailey’s home town, as she apparently lived in South Wales for 16 years.

    She placed a sign in the window of her cafe stating that members of NHS staff were not welcome there, until local authorities forced her to remove it on the grounds of discrimination.

    The blog that has been referred to, made by Diana Smith in 2012, has been online and ignored by detractors for over a year, until it became prudent not to do so.

    The “1200 excess deaths” that allegedly occurred in fact did not, but were an HSMR coding error. This figure appeared in an early draft of the Francis Report that was leaked to the media, but were then removed. Both Sir Robert Francis and Sir Bruce Keogh have stated these figures are false.

    The Francis Report also states there was no evidence of patients drinking out of vases. Indeed flowers have not been allowed on wards for many years, due to infection risks.

    Ms Bailey denounced the 51000 people who marched to save the hospital as “morons”. She also retweeted comments stating they were “ill-informed”.

    The whole “hate campaign” only came in the wake of the Stafford March, and was a blatant, cynical and shameful attempt to take attention away from the march, and garner sympathy for Ms Bailey by denouncing its supporters and organisers – Support Stafford Hospital – as being behind the campaign in the first place.

    • MellorSJ

      Another cultist…

    • John Smith

      Many are glad to see her honoured, as she has many more enemies than above

    • truthtell

      I hope you never have to watch a member of your family suffer in such a hospital!!! Many of the German people refused to believe that concentration camps existed as well!!!!!

  • Mainlander

    Obamacare here we come!

  • jason

    sorry Julie baileys café AND ITS MENU is stuck in the 70’s, just as her mind is stuck pre 2009, the café FAILED BECAUSE IT NEVER MOVED ON. STAFFORD IS TRYING TO MOVE ON AND TO REMOVE ITS HOSPITAL FOR THE 120000 STAFFORDIANS IS INPLAUSABLE

    • Damon

      You mean, ‘implausible’. And you signally fail to address the principal focus of the piece, which was the hounding and victimisation of Julie Bailey. Why, for instance, was her mother’s grave desecrated? Was the headstone also, ‘stuck in the 70s’ – whatever that means?

  • StevenDobbs

    Stafford sounds like a shithole populated by scumbags

    • RevnantDream

      I thought the same thing.

    • Chris

      Stafford is a lovely place with, mostly great people who have experience of their hospital and would not sit and watch people suffer. The vase incident is a myth as no fresh flowers had been allowed in the hospital for several years before Bella died

  • Colonel Mustard

    I’m very surprised that the Mid-Staffs scandal appears not to have been covered in the same way as Bloody Sunday, Hillsborough or the Stephen Lawrence incident and presume it must be because the fingerprints of New Labour and their fellow marxist travellers are all over it. So no political mileage in making it another long-running left-wing crusade for the truth. I’m also surprised that no-one has been prosecuted or gone to prison for deaths clearly caused by negligence. And I would have thought that withholding sustenance from the helpless in the context of “nursing” responsibility is getting close to manslaughter.

    In this era of knee-jerk police response, arrests at the drop of a hat and a CPS that seems only too willing to wield sledgehammers against nuts in response to media clamour the deafening silence over Mid-Staffs is puzzling. It appears those responsible, at all levels, for the multiple deaths of helpless and infirm old people, have got it away with it, whilst the fellow travellers of the cultural revolution in the CPS gleefully prosecute old men for putting their hands where they shouldn’t have forty or more years ago.

    And what about Burnham’s secret enquiry with evidence selectively called? Why has there been no Ding-Dong about all that? Why no anti-Thatcher type denouncement of cover-up?

    • silenced

      The constant reorganisation of the health service, over the last 25 years at least, by both main parties and the creeping de-professionalisation of medicine and nursing must bear considerable responsibility for the low morale in the NHS that leads directly to poor care, especially where there is understaffing.
      Perhaps no one has been prosecuted, gone to prison or been struck off because no-one was guilty of any unnecessary deaths – or were there really 6 Harold Shipmans in one hospital? Francis took all the stories of poor care from only one perspective. Confidentiality demands that these were all unchallenged, even where (independent) notes reviews suggest alternative narratives. There were undoubtedly episodes of care that were well below what any reasonable minded person would expect of a health care system in a civilised country but it may be that this was not as wide spread as reported. Maybe the idea of multiple excess deaths is totally false.
      Although I have no particular political affiliation (having recently resigned from the Lib Dems) I think the idea that anyone speaking with a moderate view on Midstaffs or failing the join the clamour for “heads to roll” is somehow left leaning puzzles me.
      Can the NHS learn anything from MidStaffs? It is now one of the most high-quality DGHs in the country – so yes – it can learn how a hospital can recover despite a long and unremitting blaze of deeply hurtful and unpleasant publicity.
      This learning is not going to happen if sections of the public spend the next decade “hanging and flogging”. If the learning doesn’t happen then poor quality care will continue – and you will a) all wonder why? and b) fail to see your own role in it – won’t you?!

      • StevenDobbs

        you are an amoral leftist apologist and your spin is not welcome

        • silenced

          I admit I had to look up apologist in the dictionary – one who argues in favour of something unpopular. With over 50,000 people of staffordshire on the recent march to save acute services at our vastly improved hospital, just how popular do you need this opinion to be before you reason without just hurling “shitbag’- type insults? While I was at the dictionary I did however look up ‘bigot’ – it appears to mean, one who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his own opinions and prejudices.

      • Winston_from_the_Ministry

        You only have to look at how the NHS deals with whistleblowers to get an idea of it’s real problems.

      • truthtell

        Totally disagree with you.

  • Citizen Kane

    I’ve learned in my 43 years that most people are simply cowardly and want to be on the side that’s winning no matter the evil it may emanate. Life is a strange thing indeed for us that stick our own necks out for the betterment of society even when it causes us great suffering.

  • Emily Taylor

    Good on the Spectator for covering this story, but how depressingly familiar it all is!

    It’s for people like Julie Bailey – and Dr Rita Pal, one of the original Staffs whistleblowers – that we started our campaign to change the law to criminalise the victimisation of whistleblowers. Over 1,300 signatures so far, and many of the comments on the petition highlight that unfortunately this is not an isolated story.

  • Mum paraszczuk

    There’s a chance that Julie has been planning to leave Stafford for some time to go to Dubai where she has a son and new grandchild.

    ‘Hounded heroine’? The Cure the NHS myth

  • Steve pleb Walker

    There’s some bollocks spouted as fact on this issue. JB has *not* lived in Stafford all her life, nor has she been driven out of town. She’s been planning to move to Dubai for 18 months or more for family reasons and this is just her ‘grand exit’. The ‘hounding’ is either vastly exaggerated or completely made up. Trust the Spectator to give room to such ill-founded guff.

  • Mary E Hoult

    She is not the first to have to move for raising concerns on behalf of vunerable patients and won’t be the last.Sad really in this day and age.

  • thanksdellingpole

    Shut down the NHS, or, allow for people to choose if they wish to continue to keep paying for it through taxation i.e. to receive a tax break of which can be put toward and ever increasingly competitive market.

  • Meg

    As someone who was hounded by lawyers and fired for whistle blowing on a smaller scale at work, I have nothing but sympathy for Julie Bailey. She was brave and right and can come live next door to me anytime.

  • andagain

    I believe – or at least hope – that they have made sure when people hear Stafford’s name they will think of the town that persecuted Julie Bailey for telling the truth.

    It is certainly what I will think of now.

  • anyfool

    She said
    People come up to me in the street and just start bawling,’
    Most will be public sector workers doing this type of abuse, to imply privately employed people would take the trouble to do this as a cover for these cruel medics is nonsense.
    This is the default behaviour by a large proportion of the public sector, it is not just hospitals, try out a request to the bin man, try the council run waste collection sites, these people really are jumped up little Hitlers, now imagine these people in charge of frail and ill medically but especially the mentally ill, it is not just Stafford it has spread across the whole country like the Flu virus.

    • global city

      That’s the problem… that and the bone headed dogmatists who control the country’s institutions.

    • Randy McDonald

      “[T]o imply privately employed people would take the trouble to do this as a cover for these cruel medics is nonsense.”

      Why? Don’t they live in Stafford, too?

  • silenced

    Confidentiality dictates that hospital staff, most of whom were not providing bad care have a different perspective of many aspects of the CTNHS stories. That is not to deny their bad experiences, just an admittance that there are multiple perspectives on any situation and in these cases only one side was heard. The hospital staff, of which I am not one, had their heads held in collective shame for much of four years and many of the positive experiences of patients were not given any airtime. Julie Bailey showed both courage and tenacity exposing poor care. Now, however the townspeople would like the story of a good if not great hospital aired, for it has been endlessly scrutinised and found to be just that. I have never met Ms Bailey but I think her complete failure to engage with any improvements does not endear her to Staffordians. They will vote with their 50,000 pairs of feet where her business is concerned – I think you’ll find that while reporters of so called repute deliver such biased pieces as this, it is the only voice they have.

    • silenced

      I am not about to apologise for something in which I have taken no part whatsoever. Of course it is regrettable that such things have happened to any grave. My only point is that some distrust of Julie and the continuing disdain for her local hospital is bound to impact on her own business. Many people rely on their local health service, find it perfectly satisfactory and wish to continue to access it. The impact of making Stafford Synonymous with “poor care” forever, is hardly the way to endear you to any population. If she decides to leave Stafford her lifetime home (not mine) then I can only wish her luck in finding somewhere more conducive for her negative outlook.

      • realfish

        ‘…If she decides to leave Stafford her lifetime home (not mine) then I can only wish her luck in finding somewhere more conducive for her negative outlook,’

        Awful. But that’s right ‘silenced’, be positive…after all, it’s only around 1200 deaths that we are talking about in this ‘good if not great’ hospital. Not a great number in the scheme of things, hey? and the 1930’s Fabians would surely have approved.

        But actually I find your complacency sickening, not just your denial in what counts as ‘satisfactory’ in this place…but also your seeming ‘she made her bed and now she has to lie in it’, tone regarding Julie Bailey. YOU, yes you, couldn’t have made Nick Cohen’s point any better, if you’d tried.

        Yes! It’s time to move on, but like it or not, Julie Bailey has done the people of Stafford a great service.

        BTW: I live in the Stafford DGH catchment area. I have used its services. I found the place ‘oppressive’. I didn’t need Julie Bailey to tell me that the so called ‘professionals’ (plural) I encountered were lacking in the empathy their calling required, or of the tensions there (senior hospital executives having their arguments in the hospital corridors). And when a time of real emergency, danger and threat, arrived for my family, once removed from the car wreck, we made sure that the ambulances took us elsewhere.

        • Suzytrue

          I do live in Stafford and at a time when I was most vulnerable, having a mastectomy due to breast cancer, I received nothing but bad practice, when I screamed out in pain I was told “You have had your breast removed, what do you expect” only 6 hours later when my husband and friend arrived for visiting and I broke down in tears did I finally receive an injection. The list of terrible things that happened to me is too long to put down here, but I WAS THERE in 2007, the year Julie Bailey’s mother sadly died. Julie Bailey has never wanted the hospital to close, all she wanted was a better hospital for the people of her much loved home town of Stafford. The fact the hospital is improving is down to her and I personally owe her a huge debt of gratitude as does the rest of the town!

        • Steve pleb Walker

          There were no 1200 ‘excess’ deaths. Even Francis said the same, as have expert statisticians. Check your facts.

          ‘Avoidable’ deaths happen in every hospital in the world. There is no such thing as guaranteed safe care – healthcare is intrinsically risky. That’s the nonsense that the media-invented, ulteriorly-motivated myth of Stafford is being (ab)used to support as an excuse for eroding and eventually eliminating the NHS.

          Bring the NHS to its knees and then ride in on a white charger of privatisation to save it. If you’re too blind to see that, I feel sorry for you.

          • realfish

            You seem to be a time served member of the ‘rotten culture’ of denial that infests the NHS, but if it feeds your conspiracy theories all well and good. Perhaps you should take your evidence of media motivated invention to Staffordshire police and ask them to stop their investigations into 300 deaths there. And perhaps the NMC should reinstate those nurses they have dealt with so far.

            Just for a moment reflect and ask yourself what the relatives of the dead would think of your stupid allegations. But typically for the deniers and activists, the NHS is more important than the people it serves.

            The coercive left have closed down debate for years and have demanded that the likes of Julie Bailey pay up, shut up, put up with what she is given, be grateful and under no circumstances step out of line and criticise the cult that is the Health Service. To her cost she has experienced the sort of nastiness that was evident in the ugly and threatening #pplsassembly event yesterday

            You obviously seem to think that the whole rotten edifice is fit for purpose – I, like hundreds of thousands of others don’t.

            • Steve pleb Walker

              You appear to be an idiot who’s perfectly happy to delude him/herself. ‘Coercive left’? Look around – see the millions of disabled and disadvantaged people being shoved into poverty and tens of millions of ordinary people being made poorer by this government and you’ll see what ‘coercive’ really looks like.

              You should remember that investigations are not proof of anything – and that plenty of investigations happen because of political and media pressure, whether or not they’re justified. The police already investigated once, and found no cases to answer.

              Ms Bailey and her supporters know all about my articles, and they consider questioning figures to be ‘disrespecting the dead’, which should really tell you all you need to know about the quality of their thinking.

              Rather than being victims of a hate campaign, they are the perpetrators of several, but it suits the purposes of this government and its supportive media to make them saints. The problems with their claims are many and obvious – but so far no journalist has done his/her job and probed them, which should be astonishing, but isn’t.

              There is no evidence of ‘nastiness’ toward Ms Bailey, and much of nastiness,abuse and libel toward anyone who dares to disagree with them. The reality, and what the press presents, are two very different beasts.

              Examining claims and finding them to be faulty is not claiming that the NHS is perfect – but nuance and shaded reality appears beyond your wit. Claiming the NHS, which saves hundreds of thousands of lives, is a ‘whole rotten edifice’ is just patent nonsense – and says more about you than about the NHS.

              You’re a fool, but I didn’t expect better from this cesspit. Just wanted to drop a rare word of evidence-based reality into the ordure..

              • Colonel Mustard

                “There is no evidence of ‘nastiness’ toward Ms Bailey”


                • Steve pleb Walker

                  You appear to be struggling with the concept of proof. A Guido Fawkes article is not it. Stafford council did not receive any complaints, and any damage could just as easily have been inflicted by la Bailey or a supporter. As I said, no evidence.

                • Steve

                  Evidence only can be uncovered after an investigation. That is what people are demanding. The statistics give rise to the suspicion that something has gone wrong over and above the ‘expected’ numbers of deaths which as you correctly assert happen in even the best run hospitals. This suspicion is a reasonable one and one which the Police require to justify launching such investigation. It is only as a result of this that the full extent of evidence should it exist be uncovered. You Sir are running scared from this and you remind me of someone standing at the door of their home , barring entry to a search team which have arrived on your doorstep with a search warrant.Simply screaming that there is nothing to see in here will not preventhe inevitable when your ill gotten gains are discovered within.

                • Steve pleb Walker

                  Dream on. I haven’t said the investigation is a bad thing. The police investigated in 2009 and found no cases to answer. This investigation proves nothing, and is just as, or more, likely to find again that there’s nothing to answer for.

                  The case notes on the deaths were already reviewed by independent clinicians, who concluded there was ‘perhaps one’ avoidable death – and even an avoidable death doesn’t mean there was fault. No care can be perfect, and the global rate of ‘avoidable’ deaths in hospital is 6% – most such deaths are technical, as patients would have lived only hours or a few days longer.

                  That you’re still asserting an excess death rate in Stafford shows how utterly ignorant you are of the facts. Just like your political masters – except their ignorance is wilful. Yours might be, too.

                  The screaming is by the hysterical anti-NHS mob who is determined to find fault where there is none, and to blow every incident out of proportion in desperation to convince of what only an idiot could believe – that we’re better of without the NHS.

                  Still, didn’t expect any better in this playpen.

  • Roger Kline


    Thank you.
    Very good piece It’s a disgrace

    If in any doubt, about the provenance of much of the rumour and lies read this blog dated 5th March 2013 by Diana Smith posted on which appears to be the false source of much of what followed. Note the position held and note the friendly relationship with the discredited former chair of the Trust

    • silenced

      Confidentiality dictates that hospital staff, most of whom were not providing bad care have a different perspective of many aspects of the CTNHS stories. That is not to deny their bad experiences, just an admittance that there are multiple perspectives on any situation and in these cases only one side was heard. The hospital staff, of which I am not one, had their heads held in collective shame for much of four years and many of the positive experiences of patients were not given any airtime. Julie Bailey showed both courage and tenacity exposing poor care. Now, however the townspeople would like the story of a good if not great hospital aired, for it has been endlessly scrutinised and found to be just that. I have never met Ms Bailey but I think her complete failure to engage with any improvements does not endear her to Staffordians. They will vote with their 50,000 pairs of feet where her business is concerned – I think you’ll find that while reporters of so called repute deliver such biased pieces as this, it is the only voice they have.

      • Roger Kline

        “Silenced” is a little economical with the truth and speaks in ways that greatly overlap with Diane Smith who blog triggered some of what is happening.

        You write “Confidentiality dictates that hospital staff, most of whom were not providing bad care have a different perspective of many aspects of the CTNHS stories.” In fact the evidence from staff was scrupulously collected by the Francis Inquiry. I am not aware of any other.
        It is not, as is suggested, Julie’s “failure to engage” that is the problem at all. It is the apparent denial, by some, of what happened.

        This response expresses no regret over the desecration of Julie’s mother’s grave and other abuse. Nor, unfortunately does it acknowledge that it was Diana Smith’s blog, as secretary of the anti closure campaign (and a leading local Labour Party member) that greatly increased the hostility to Julie and colleagues. For the record it said

        “I found the meeting shocking. I still do. Perhaps it was just the excitement of the occasion, but Julie Bailey used the platform to call “lets shut the hospital, lets sack all the staff”. This was met by loud cheers from her band of followers.”

        (5th March 2013 posted on

        This quote, written three years after the meeting, in a blog entitled “The public meeting in Stafford. Looking back at April 2009”, has been strongly disputed by both the organiser of that meeting and others present as being completely untrue but has nevertheless been widely circulated and was certainly a significant factor in causing the abuse of Julie and colleagues.
        So, no apology from “silenced”, and continuing denial.
        I too oppose any closure of the hospital and acknowledge (like Robert Francis) that many staff at Stafford tried to (and did) do a good job in dreadful circumstances.
        But the current campaign of abuse about which “silenced” has nothing to say, is a disgrace.
        Thank you Nick Cohen.

  • Tron

    I had personal experience of the NHS under New Labour. Dirty wards, hospital infections and a don’t care attitude of the staff.

    When I saw the cartoon glorification of the NHS at the Olympics it made me sick.

    • RobertC

      So I wasn’t the only one!

      My Mother’s GP refusing, point blank, to act in a way that anyone with common sense would do, let alone someone with medical knowledge.

      Less than two weeks later my mum was dead. And then a few weeks later that ghastly Olympics opening ceremony!

      It was cruel!

      And I thought ten years of Labour government were bad enough!

    • Chris

      did you complain or report it. My family would not have sat there and watched me or others suffer and I do have personal experience of Stafford Hospital having my life saved there. And I am not a labour supporter I am independent

  • Steve

    This is shameful, looks like death camp Guards and their relatives have got something to hide. Justice for the 1200 !

  • classieview

    France had its ‘Devil’s island 70 years ago.
    Why not nominate Stafford as Britain’s 21st century Devil’s island.
    Given the treatment that the admirable and brave Julie Bailey has received at the hands of its most benighted citizens, no longer need there be any more agonising about where to locate nuclear waste, asylum centres, Roma resettlement centres etc.
    The good citizens of Stafford are determined to defend one of the most shameful outcomes of Nulabour’s dark age – the mistreatment and death of hundreds of patients at Mid-Staffs hospital.
    If they wish to be so masochistic, let’s give them plenty to be masochistic about.

  • Mr Creosote

    Stafford as a district is Labour to it’s core. They will never admit to failure in the public sector, even when the evidence is a plain as the nose on your face – why let the facts get in the way of an entrenched ideological argument?

    • Richard Blogger

      Stafford has a Tory MP, nearby Stone has a Tory MP. Are you just making things up?

  • katiespitfire

    Poor woman, she has said what many are surely thinking. I see it in my own local hospital. Dirty floors, the same bloodstain on a radiator next to my sister’s bed during her two week stay. So many local councils, like ours here in East Yorkshire (which featured in Private Eye’s ‘Rotten Boroughs’ section) are run mafia style for the benefit of a few-staffed by long serving staff who are merely biding their time until retirement.

    • Mark Timmins

      Here’s some curious facts;

      Did you know JB HASN’T lived in Stafford her whole life? She’s moved around the country a fair bit.
      Did you know JB claimed to be a qualified Social Worker despite there being no trace of her being registered with their professional body?
      Did you know that JB claimed to have run a nursing home when she lived in Swansea but there’s no record of that fact?
      Did you know that JB made numerous complaints to Staffordshire police and no evidence to support any of them were found? This was also replicated at the local Tesco where she said staff were rude to her whilst doing her shopping. CCTV showed no staff going near her.
      Did you know that JB advertised Cure the NHS as a charity despite status being refused?
      Did you know that JB advertised a (hastily written) book she’d had published in the front window of her cafe- a business that went to the wall because people stopped using it? (I suppose the entire town are employed at the hospital and successfully drove her out of business)
      Did you know that families of relatives on the same ward as her grandmother (not mother- unless Bella gave birth to her at the age of 62) report none of the concerns that she supposedly witnessed?
      Did you know that JB actually wrote a thank you card to staff on the ward where her grandmother was?
      Did you know that supporters of Bailey put forward the drinking from vases claim which was knocked out of the park by the Francis enquiry?
      Did you know that if her story were true, she effectively left her grandmother in a hell-hole, uncared for and in agony, for eight weeks?
      Did you know that 50,000 people marched to save the hospital? ( Again I suppose all employed at the hospital and just biding time for their cushy pension)
      Did you know since the hospital has been decimated two women have had to give birth on the roadside (M6 and A34) because they couldn’t make it to UHNM in Stoke?
      Did you know that since decimated and services transferred to UHNM, that hospital’s perfomance has plummeted and it now represents one of the worst hospitals in the country in terms of A+E performance?
      Did you know that cases of neglect and suspect deaths have surfaced at UHNM yet JB has said more about Andy Burnham’s leadership credentials than this new outrage?

      It makes me laugh how gullible the great British public is though not as much as I laugh at the Mid-Staffs ‘experts’ who couldn’t even point the town out on a map. There are so many holes in this woman’s story i’m amazed she’s still being trotted out by the Tories. But then I suppose she gets the sponsor’s message across. Have a read around Bill Cash and his involvement with Cure the NHS and his subsequent links to companies about to get rich from private contracts. One last ‘did you know’ i’ll leave you with- Did you know David Cameron lost the safe seat of Stafford in the 1997 GE? I’ll let that sink in…

  • MikeF

    The whole trend of public life in this country now is to subordinate ‘civil society’ – in other words people acting autonomously to influence the world around them – to sectarian corporatism, especially that of the public sector, its unions and its ideological cover organisation the Labour Party. It can be reversed but only by people standing up to it as this wholly estimable woman has done.