Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health, is all over the media today criticising findings by the Care Quality Commission that has found 20% of NHS hospitals mistreating the elderly and failing to feed and hydrate patients properly. The minister speaks as if it's a bit of a shock to him.
And yet, last February I made a film for Channel 4's Dispatches that highlighted this problem. After the programme was shown I sent the minister a petition signed by 4000 people asking him to do something about the issue. I did not receive even the courtesy of a reply from Mr Lansley. And yet, today, the minister claims he wants to encourage whistleblowers and to stop patients being starved when in the care of the NHS. Incredible.
Only now that the minister's position is threatened is he willing to do anything. It's shameful behaviour.