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NHS Nottingham march to take place

Hundreds are expected to march in Nottingham today in defence of NHS services. Credit: PA Wire

Hundreds are expected to march in Nottingham today in defence of NHS services.

Marchers will meet at the Forest Recreation Ground, before heading to Old Market Square to hold a rally.

Since we last met in Nottingham we have seen a continuation of a National Health Service under strain.

Longer waiting times, queuing ambulances and threats of cuts and closures have increased.

– Rehana Azam, organiser

Prime Minister David Cameron has praised his party's record on the NHS, saying that instead of broken promises on funding, he's kept them.

He said: "We've increased [NHS] spending by over 12.7bn pounds ...We got rid of 20,000 bureaucrats in the NHS and put that money into 9,000 more doctors and 7,000 more nurses."

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Government to crackdown on whistleblower bullying

Legislation on whistleblowers will be fast-tracked in response to a major report into how thousands of NHS staff have been been bullied by colleagues after raising concerns about patient care, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced.

The review, lead by Sir Robert Francis QC, found some NHS staff were driven to the brink of suicide after voicing their concerns.

ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:

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Mid Staffs whistleblower 'wasn't surprised' at findings

A former nurse who helped lead the fight against shocking failings at Stafford Hospital told ITV News she "wasn't surprised" by the findings of a report into the treatment of NHS whistleblowers.

Helene Donnelly was a key witness in the Mid Staffordshire public inquiry and has recently been appointed as Ambassador for Cultural Change at the local NHS Trust.

Donnelly said: "It stands to reason that if I've experienced it in my Trust and I know of others who have as well, that there are going to be others who have suffered in the same way.

"All members of staff working in the NHS and social care have a duty to speak out if they see things that are not right, and we must create a culture where they can do that and feel safe."

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Doctor: Whistleblowers persecuted 'on a grand scale'

A doctor who exposed safety concerns at a hospital has said NHS whistleblowers were being persecuted "on a grand scale".

Cardiologist Raj Mattu publicly exposed overcrowding and fears for patient safety at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry in 2001, claiming there might have been avoidable deaths as a result.

Cardiologist Raj Mattu. Credit: Matthew Cooper/PA Archive

Dr Mattu told BBC Breakfast he "couldn't possibly recommend" other NHS staff voicing safety concerns because of the lack of "sufficient protections".

"It's frustrating and depressing to hear that whilst there is often and periodically noises made about ... protecting whistleblowers, the reality is there are very few palpable, material changes that take place," he said.

"Today even, the culture is very unsafe. There is still ongoing persecution of whistleblowers on a grand scale."

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'Shocking stories' heard by NHS whistleblower review

The chairman of a review into the treatment of NHS whistleblowers said he had heard "shocking stories" about staff too afraid to speak out and who felt suicidal after their concerns were ignored.

Sir Robert Francis QC chaired the review into the NHS whistleblowers. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Sir Robert Francis QC said he heard "time and time again" from NHS staff who were "bullied" after raising concerns about poor patient care.

Sir Robert told the BBC before the review's publication, "I've heard some frankly shocking stories about [staff] whose health has suffered, and in rare cases who've felt suicidal as a result of their perception of them being ignored or worse."

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