Healthcare whistleblower fears losing everything after speaking out against “culture of fear“

A National Health Scheme (NHS) whistleblower who claimed to have been paid £500,000 to not speak over patient safety last night said he feared he would "lose everything" by speaking out against the ''culture of fear'' in the health service.

According to Gary Walker, who was head of a hospital trust that was now under investigation over high death rates, said he was paid £500,000 to keep quiet at the time of his dismissal in 2010.

However, when he decided to reveal his concerns earlier this week he was threatened with legal action and told by the NHS that he would be required to pay back the money and any extra legal costs.

The father-of-two, though, went ahead. He told the Daily Mail, that he stood to lose everything if he was sued.

He said he agreed to the NHS settlement as he had paid nearly £100,000 in legal fees and was about to lose his home. He added, now he risked having to repay even more than the settlement as he could be liable for the trust's legal fees. He said he faced ruin.

He said it had got to the stage where thousands and thousands of patients were dying needlessly in NHS hospitals and the government said there was none to blame. He said someone needed to stand up and be counted.