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Hospital chiefs act on porters’ concerns after daily’s exposé

Eddei BisknellHealth bosses have acted on the concerns of hospital porters after whistleblowers revealed to a regional daily they felt “let down, betrayed and undervalued”.

The Derby Telegraph revealed claims by porters at the Royal Derby Hospital that they had been left to eat their meals in corridors and store their belongings in rubbish bins.

Those to come forward revealed to local democracy reporter Eddie Bisknell they had been “threatened” with the sack if they spoke to the press about their concerns, adding they had not been offered the coronavirus antibody tests for which they are eligible.

Since the story’s publication, it has been confirmed to Eddie that senior management have now discussed the concerns raised with those affected.

Eddie, pictured, told HTFP “It’s one of those stories I wish didn’t have to be written and it’s also a crying shame that it took press involvement to put the pressure on management.

“Staff knew they could face the sack for talking to me and that is not a position they should be put in. It’s a credit to them that they spoke out to raise concerns.

“It’s a great result that managers are now said to be engaging for the first time and I’d like to think it shows the real impact of public interest journalism.

“I’m also very glad to hear that porters who previously believed they were not eligible for COVID-19 antibody tests where rapidly provided with forms and signed up for tests over the weekend as a result of the article. Quite the turnaround.”

The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees and is based at the Royal Derby, told the Telegraph staff are to be given antibody tests in phases.

Krishna Kallianpur, interim chief nurse for UHDB had called porters “extremely valued members of our team” and said they had played a “key role in our response to the pandemic”.