Hospitals have spent £2 million on more than 50 gagging orders preventing staff speaking out, a Freedom of Information Act request has revealed.
Tory MP Steve Barclay, who obtained the figures, accused NHS chief Sir David Nicholson of either failing to ask questions about the orders or being “complicit in a cover-up”.
Sir David will retire as NHS England’s chief executive next year but Mr Barclay said he should stand down now because the culture in the health service had to change.
It was reported last night that at least 52 staff have been silenced using the orders since 2008, some of which cost as much as £500,000. All are thought to contain confidentiality clauses.
…North East Cambridgeshire MP Mr Barclay told The Daily Telegraph: “It is simply not plausible that the man who was supposed to be running the NHS was seemingly unaware that employees threatening to speak out were being offered golden goodbyes in return for a vow of silence.”