Today the words of Gary Walker, former chief executive of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, have put fear into the hearts of many of us with elderly relatives. After the terrible treatment of patients at hospitals in Stafford, which led to more than 1,000 deaths, we now hear allegations of an NHS cover-up in Lincoln.
My mother-in-law (pictured above) died in Louth County Hospital, Lincolnshire in 2009 at the age of 86. She was a happy, positive lady, who always looked on the bright side of life and, when asked how she was feeling, replied without hesitation 'not too bad at all.'
When the nurse took us aside to say that her kidneys had failed, we worried about her suffering too much pain. That's when they explained about The Liverpool Pathway - a careplan for people in their dying days. 'Don't worry - we will look after her,' they hospital told us. And they did.
For more than a week we visited every day, taking it in turns with the rest of her family, laughing about the past, chatting about children and grandchildren, and all the time, as she lay there, she continued to praise the nurses.
'They're ever so friendly, and can't do enough for me,' she said one day, tucking in to her favourite haddock chips and peas. 'They say I make them laugh.'
Nothing was too much trouble for those nurses (not that my mother-in-law asked for much) and they assured us many times that she was a pleasure to look after.
Finally, when the time was drawing near, they explained what was going to happen and left us in dignified peace.
Nurses all over the country do an exceptional job and, amidst all the bad publicity, we mustn't forget about them. Of course bad news makes headlines - I should know - it used to be part of my job. Today I wanted to tell the other side of the story.