Julie Bailey fought for patients, so why are some people blaming her for Stafford Hospital's plight?

There was bound to be a big debate around the award of a CBE to Julie Bailey, who did so much of the work to blow the whistle on the scandal at Stafford Hospital.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust inquiry
Stafford Hospital campaigner Julie Bailey CBE – splitting opinion over her New Year Honour
Daniel Wainwright

Was it right for someone who led a campaign to be made just one rank down from a dame? The honours committee thought so, as did many other supporters, who believe she helped shine a light on something that had been going on for years with nowhere near enough scrutiny from those in charge.

She certainly suffered too. The backlash against her by those who believe Stafford Hospital was not as bad as campaigners said was enough to force her to leave her business and her home town behind.

And the sheer vitriol and personal abuse levelled at Miss Bailey, who lost her mother at Stafford Hospital, by some of her critics this week is nothing short of shocking.

Among those who raise questions over whether she deserves to be a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire are those who have clearly gone too far.

As well as the various f-words used in reaction to the award was one Twitter user who wrote: “I’d never step foot anywhere near the hospital again, I reckon someone would kill her lol.”

The “lol”, for anyone not experienced in text and tweet-speak means “laugh out loud”, presumably used to imply the preceding comment was a joke, albeit not a remotely funny one.

What appears to have upset a lot of the critics is what is to become of Stafford Hospital since the public inquiries Julie Bailey and her colleagues in Cure The NHS fought to secure.

The site faces being stripped of many of its front-line services, such as maternity, while the scandal of poor care and needless deaths has put medical staff off wanting to work there.

But all that Cure The NHS ever did was fight to get to the bottom of what happened to patients and loved ones and call for better standards of care.

That quest does not need to be in any way at odds with the campaign to keep vital health services in a major town like Stafford. It is up to the government and the people at the top of the NHS to give the site a future where it meets the needs of patients. They are the ones paid handsomely to come up with the solution and they will be the ones at fault if it does not work.

Blaming Julie Bailey for the downgrade is like accusing someone who dials 999 for help of being responsible for the ambulance crashing en route.

Selection row is the last thing Lib Dems need

After decades of service, former Wolverhampton mayor Malcolm Gwinnett has been dropped as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Spring Vale in the May elections.

Councillor Gwinnett, who has been a vocal campaigner for improvements in the city in terms of regeneration and investment, is to be replaced by Tom Stokes, who has been very active over the past 18 months despite not getting a penny for his work.

It is a shame that, politics being what they are, the party has seen fit to make a choice between them. Councillor Gwinnett feels “aggrieved” and “stabbed in the back”.

There are now just three Liberal Democrat members serving on Wolverhampton City Council – so few they could almost hold their meetings in a phone box.

If they are to avoid losing ground in their only ward in Wolverhampton they need everyone pulling together like never before.

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Comments for: "Julie Bailey fought for patients, so why are some people blaming her for Stafford Hospital's plight?"


Blaming Julie Bailey for the downgrade is like accusing someone who dials 999 for help of being responsible for the ambulance crashing en route.

Best comment so far in this trial by media - I feel sorry for her, losing her Mom in appalling circumstances and now being crucified by people who probably know the square root of sweet FA about the circumstances. Well said, Dan - well said


I don't agree with some of the personal abuse directly towards Bailey. That is totally unacceptable.

I have no issue with someone mounting a campaign if they find things need to be improved in any walk of life.

What I completely disagree with is the fact is that she "sold" her campaign to Cameron, Hunt and Lefoy, whilst they were in opposition for political gain, and now the same people has chosen to give her a CBE.

It is very easy to criticise staff in the NHS. It is the Tory Party's main source of attack and reason to bring in increased privatisation, rather than admitting there is a chronic lack of funding and training for staff However where is the recognition for the majority of selfless people who have worked once again over the festive period whilst the rest of us enjoy a break. For these staff it is not a job but a vocation and a few "bad eggs" do represent the majority, as Bailey and her Tory paymasters would have us believe.

It is time for some balanced, reasoned reporting and to stop the inauguration of "Saint Julie of Stafford".

Wilson Kemp

The campaign was not "sold" to the Conservative Party or anyone else. The previous Stafford MP, David Kidney, did his level best to obtain a full public enquiry into the events at the hospital, but was let down by his own party in government; he paid the price himself at the subsequent election. If David Kidney had obtained this public enquiry at a much earlier stage, some of the later problems could have been avoided.


Julie represented those of us who had no chance to comment.

The lady was such a good example of a carer.

The people who denigrate her probably had no close family involved

in the extremely poor care given to our loved ones

Wilson Kemp

A Stafford Borough Councillor, Christine Baron, has also attacked the CBE awarded to June Bailey, as "an insult to doctors an nurses everywhere... and to the 50,000+ people who marched in support of the hospital".

Perhaps Councillor Baron can explain the contribution made to the exposure of the problems at the hospital made by the Health Scrutiny Committee of her Council..... and if she is unable to do so, she should consider her position on the Council.

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