Whistleblower awarded honorary degree
Stafford Hospital whistleblower Julie Bailey has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the Open University.
The former cafe owner, who exposed neglect at the hospital after her mother Bella died there in 2007, tweeted her delight.
She said: "Privileged to receive Honoury Doctorate from the @OpenUniversity. Congratulations to other graduates who have worked so hard."
She started up a campaigning group, Cure the NHS, which met at her Breaks cafe in Lichfield Street, Stafford, initially working to expose the failings of the Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust but which has extended its reach to hospitals across the country.
She was inundated with congratulations on the award by supporters.
Ms Bailey was nationally praised for her determination to shine a light on the failings of the Trust but in Stafford she faced a backlash from some who blamed her for a subsequent downgrade of the town’s hospital.
In 2014, she was named as the second most powerful woman in Britain by a national newspaper and in the BBC Woman's Hour power list the same year.