Former chairman: “We rang the alarm over hospitals and were ignored”

David Bowles
David Bowles

The former chairman of Lincolnshire’s hospital trust has questioned why it was allowed to slip into ‘special measures’ after he raised the alarm over issues four years ago.

Ex United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust chairman David Bowles resigned in 2009 amid claims that he was being asked to put targets before patient safety.

Former chief executive Gary Walker and ex non executive director Phil Scarlett also left in 2009/10.

The trio had warned that Lincolnshire’s hospitals could follow the way of Mid Staffordshire trust - where neglect led to patient deaths.

Mr Bowles told The Standard he was not confident that the high profile spotlight of the review from Sir Bruce Keogh would expose all of the problems at the top of Lincolnshire hospitals.

He said: “I very much doubt it. It is not the culture of the NHS to be completely open and transparent.

“What is clear is that it got worse after Gary Walker and I left.

“We rang the alarm bells and weren’t listened to.”

He said that senior board members must now be forced to consider their positions.