In response to the BBC investigation into University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, Dr Jayne Chidgey-Clark, National Guardian for the NHS said:

“It is not acceptable that dedicated workers who have spoken up to protect their patients have been treated in this way.

“One worker said that the hospital was “more interested in protecting its own reputation than what’s happening on the wards.”

“Not listening to people who speak up, and treating them as the problem, is a greater risk to the reputation of an organisation, and – most importantly – can put patients’ lives at risk.

“This behaviour silences workers, not only in this Trust, but across health care. The negative impact this might have on patients, cannot be tolerated.

“One of the Kark Review recommendations called for processes to ensure greater accountability for leaders, including a focus upon behaviour which suppresses the ability of people to speak up about serious issues in the health service. This recommendation must be implemented as a matter of urgency.”