Stafford Hospital inquiry hears of letter

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A man has told the Stafford Hospital public inquiry that he was sent a threatening letter after going to the press about failings there.

The inquiry is being held into the higher-than-expected number of deaths at the hospital between 2005 and 2008.

Terry Deighton was on the public and patient involvement forum, which monitored the hospital.

He said hospital solicitors wrote to him and said if he went anywhere near the site, he could be prosecuted.

He said he had become so frustrated by the forum's lack of action over his concerns that he left and decided to go public.

The inquiry in Stafford follows a Healthcare Commission report in 2009 which found there had been 400 more deaths than should have been expected between 2005 and 2008 due to "appalling standards" of care.

The hospital watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, said in October that the trust had made considerable progress since its predecessor's report.

But it still cited 11 areas where the hospital needed to improve.

The inquiry continues.

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