This article appeared in the Daily Mail on Friday, 15 February 2013:
A WHISTLEBLOWER faces ruin for speaking out about high death rates at his hospital.
By Claire Ellicott
Gary Walker was paid £500,000 for his silence when he was dismissed as chief executive in 2010.
So when he decided to go public this week about his ordeal he was threatened with legal action. NHS lawyers told him he faced repaying the full £500,000 and being hit with legal fees if he went ahead with interviews.
He refused to be cowed and, speaking to the Mail this week, attacked the head of the NHS, Sir David Nicholson, and his key official, Dame Barbara Hakin.
‘I stand to lose everything if they sue,’ said Mr Walker. ‘But it’s got to the stage where thousands and thousands of patients are dying needlessly in NHS hospitals.’ Someone had to stand up and be counted, he added.
The father of two was in charge of United Lincolnshire Hospitals – one of 14 trusts being investigated over high mortality rates.