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Complainant Name:
Mr Richard Duffy

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Observer


Mr Richard Duffy complained to the Press Complaints Commission about two articles which he considered to have been inaccurate and misleading in breach of Clauses 1 (Accuracy) and 2 (Opportunity to reply) of the Editors' Code of Practice.

The articles were about the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust, and reported a number of claims which had been made by campaigner Julie Bailey about her treatment at the hands of the local community. The complainant disputed Ms Bailey's claims, and also said it was not the case that patients at Stafford Hospital were ‘left to drink from flower vases'.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following correction:

‘I don't go out here on my own anymore', an interview with Mid Staffs hospital trust whistle-blower Julie Bailey, (New Review, 27 October 2013, page 5) referred to her opponents claiming that her more extreme assertions, such as patients being left to drink from flower vases, were lurid media myths. We have been asked to make it clear that the inquiry conducted by Robert Francis QC did not hear any direct evidence about any incident of patients forced to drink water from flower vases.

Date Published: 21/02/2014

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