A Tory MP has called for the chief executive of NHS England to stand down following revelations hospitals have spent £2 million on gagging orders on staff.
Hospitals have spent £2 million on more than 50 gagging orders preventing staff speaking out, a Freedom of Information Act request has revealed.
Steve Barclay has accused NHS chief Sir David Nicholson of either failing to ask questions about the orders or being "complicit in a cover-up".
Sir David will retire as NHS England's chief executive next year but Mr Barclay said he should stand down now because the culture in the health service had to change.
The Daily Telegraph reports that at least 52 staff have been silenced using the orders since 2008, some of which cost as much as £500,000. All are thought to contain confidentiality clauses.