NHS campaigner Julie Bailey, who worked tirelessly to expose the serious failings at Staffordshire Hospital, has described being made a CBE by the Queen as vindication of all health “whistleblowers”.
Ms Bailey founded the campaign group Cure The NHS after being appalled by the care her mother received at the hospital before she died.
Probes into the scandal revealed that poor care could have led to the deaths of hundreds of patients as a result of maltreatment and neglect. Many were left lying in their own urine and excrement for days, forced to drink water from vases or given the wrong medication.
Speaking after the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony, Ms Bailey said: “It’s really exciting that I’ve received recognition for all the hard work, not only myself but the group as well and everybody else within the NHS who’s tried to speak out, whistleblowers from all over the country – it was a recognition that we’ve done the right thing.”
After her mother Bella died in 2007 at Stafford Hospital, Ms Bailey campaigned to expose the problems at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
Her repeated calls for a public inquiry into the scandal came to fruition in 2010. The inquiry highlighted the “appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people” at the trust.
But she was the target of a hate campaign which forced her out of Stafford, and her mother’s grave was desecrated.