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  1. National

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."

  1. National

'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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280 staff attacked at Nottingham hospitals in last year

More than 280 staff at hospitals in Nottingham have been assaulted by patients in the last 12 months.

Police will prosecute anyone who knowingly attacks hospital staff Credit: ITV News Central

Many of the instances were attacks by people with dementia or mental health problems.

But police and hospital managers say they will prosecute anyone who attacks NHS staff willingly and without conditions that may lead to aggression.

Ambulance service say 'can't send to more than 40 calls'

West Midlands Ambulance service say they have been stacking more than 40 calls with no-one to send to them

It comes as health workers across the country are on strike over pay.

Crews are now coming off the picket line to attend to life-threatening calls.

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Ambulances only to respond in 'life-threatening' cases

West Midlands Ambulance Service say they will only respond to the most serious and life-threatening cases today as staff are striking in a national dispute over pay.

West Midlands Ambulance Service say they will only respond to the most serious cases Credit: West Midlands Ambulance Service

As a result of the walk-out, between 7am and 11am, there is expected to be a significant reduction in the level of ambulance provision.

A ballot of Unison, Unite and GMB members voted to take industrial action as a result of the government’s decision to not apply a 1% pay award in full to all NHS staff in accordance with the national public sector pay review body’s recommendations.

Picket lines outside Nottingham City hospital

There are picket lines outside Nottingham City hospital Credit: ITV News Central

There are picket lines outside Nottingham City hospital as NHS workers take part in strike action today.

It's after a dispute with the Government over pay after it was announced in March that only NHS staff at the top of their pay band would receive a 1% increase.

NHS workers are in a row with the Government over pay Credit: ITV News Central

Workers on strike protest outside Nottingham City hospital

Demonstrations are taking place at Nottingham City hospital as health workers across the country go on strike.

Health workers protest outside Nottingham City hospital Credit: ITV News Central

The Royal College of Midwives are taking part in industrial action for the first time in 133 years, along with members of UNISON, Unite and GMB in a four-hour stoppage from 7am until 11am.

It's after a dispute with the Government over pay after it was announced in March that only NHS staff at the top of their pay band would receive a 1% increase.

First ever strike for Royal College of Midwives

Members of four unions working for the NHS are to strike for four hours this morning, in a dispute over pay increases.

NHS workers are to strike Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

It is the first time in its 133-year history that members of the Royal College of Midwives are to take industrial action.

They will be joined by staff who are part of Unite, UNISON, and GMB unions for the action which is due to start at 7am.

More than 100 midwives are expected to gather outside Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, while pickets are expected at many other hospitals in the region, including Nottingham City Hospital and Queen's Medical Centre.

The dispute comes after it was announced in March that only NHS staff at the top of their pay band would receive a 1% pay increase, while the remaining 55% of the workforce would only get annual incremental rises.

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