A STUDENT nurse who claims she was thrown off her course after blowing the whistle on failings in care at Stafford Hospital is taking her fight to the top.
Barbara Allatt was placed at the town hospital for three weeks last year as part of her diploma in adult nursing at Staffiordshire University and says she saw patients left in soiled sheets, dementia patients shouted at and patients given their drugs in their tea.
She said she was also bullied and harassed. She reported the issues with the university but in January she was suspended from her course. Now she wants her claims upheld and an apology from the university.
The hospital says the Cannock mumof- one had a bad attitude but Miss Allatt has spoken to her new MP Aidan Burley who is going to contact health secretary Andrew Lansley.
She said: “I would like to be put back on my course. They had no complaints about me on one of the wards at Cannock.”
A Royal College of Nursing spokesman said: “She had had one appeal in which she sought representation from the Students’ Union then she came to the RCN and we represented her at the further appeal.”
A Staffordshire University spokesman said: “The decision to withdraw the student from the course was taken by the university having followed the Faculty of Health fitness to practice procedure. Should she remain dissatisfied with the outcome she has the option to take her case to the office of the independent adjudicator.
“We take seriously reports from any students concerning standards of care observed while on placement and our nursing students get a lot of input on their programme about how to report any issues and are supported to do so.”
Julie Hendry, director of nursing at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We work hard to provide support and mentorship for all of our student nurses. Concerns were raised about Ms Allatt’s behaviour and attitude on more than one occasion while she was on placements at our hospitals.
We escalated these concerns to Staffordshire University, whose role it is to take action in such cases.
“We have no evidence that Ms Allatt was bullied or intimidated. On the contrary, she had excellent support and mentorship whilst working here.
We take any concern raised in respect of patient care very seriously and the issues raised by Ms Allatt whilst on placement with our trust were investigated and were found to be without foundation.”
Mr Burley said: “I’m going to alert Andrew Lansley to the case because it’s important all claims should be investigated thoroughly and the proper procedure followed.”