LONDON, England / The Daily Mail / Femail / May 16, 2010
The nurse victimised for being a whistleblowerBy Fay Schlesinger
Two years after the Stafford Hospital scandal, Barbara Allatt reported NHS colleagues for leaving patients in soiled sheets, shouting at dementia sufferers and secretly slipping sedatives into a cup of tea.
But the mature student was condemned for having an 'attitude problem' before being withdrawn from her nursing course at Staffordshire University last month.
Miss Allatt, 40, now plans to sue over a 'culture of bullying' during placements at Stafford Hospital and Cannock Chase Hospital, both part of the crisis-hit Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust.
Barbara Allatt was thrown off her training course after reporting the neglect of patients
Her experiences come after a damning independent inquiry found the safety of sick and dying patients was 'routinely neglected', leading to between 400 and 1,200 unnecessary deaths at the trust between 2005 and
But no officials were disciplined and two years on hospital bosses have apparently failed to tackle the 'inhumane treatment' identified in the report.
Miss Allatt, from Cannock, said: 'The wards were heartbreaking. There were patients crying out for help but the staff would sit chatting.
'Some needed urgent pain relief or a change of sheets and others just needed a bit of reassurance, but they were ignored, shouted at or mocked with cruel names.
'Sick and elderly people were manhandled and abused.
'But when I complained my colleagues told me to mind my own business. They were so pally with each other that they shut me out and I felt helpless.'
Miss Allatt, a mother of one with a long-term partner, left her job as an occupational therapy technician to start a diploma in adult nursing in March last year.
She passed her exams and got glowing reports on placements in the community - but was disgusted by what she saw on hospital wards.
Over four months at Stafford and Cannock Chase hospitals between May 2009 and January this year, she recorded a catalogue of horrors. [rc]
© Associated Newspapers Ltd