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The chairman of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), David Prior has highlighted the "alarming" revelation that a survey of 100,000 NHS staff found one in four had been bullied.
He described the NHS as having a culture that "stigmatises and ostracises" whistleblowers who raise concerns or complaints.
His warning comes at a time when the NHS is struggling to emerge from crises such as the Mid-Staffs scandal, where hundreds of patients died and suffered neglect, as well as facing rising costs and an ageing population.
Mr Prior is a former MP and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, who was appointed to run the CQC last year.
A radical shift in the culture of the NHS is needed to rid it of outdated working practices, cure it of widespread bullying and heal the damaging rift between managers and clinicians, the head of its official regulator has warned.
David Prior, chairman of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), also called for serious "transformational change" of the health service, without which it will "go bust".
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Prior called for greater input from the private sector, the merging of hospitals and changes to the way the NHS is held to account - particularly, the scrapping of waiting targets.