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Retired Surgeon Holds Books Signing Tomorrow (Saturday)
Friday 8th July 2016 @ 13:50 by Mark Phillip

A retired surgeon who became a whistleblower over concerns about dangerous staffing levels at Tameside Hospital is hosting a book signing tomorrow.

The event is taking place at Thackeray’s Book Store, Denton, from 2-4pm.

In 2002 Milton Peña began raising concerns regarding patient safety, internally at Tameside Hospital and with the regulatory authorities, but when these concerns went ignored he became a whistleblower in 2005, and since then has continued to campaign for more funding, and in particular for legislation on nurse to patient ratios.

In many cases, vital post-operative observations were not taking place due to staff shortages, putting patients at severe risk.

Milton, who retired in October 2014, lives in Salford. He was a consultant for 23 years, 17 of those at Tameside, and before that in Rochdale. He has always been a staunch defender of the National Health Service and an active supporter of KONP (Keep Our NHS Public).

Milton says his main aim in publishing the book, which includes letters he wrote to the Chief Executive of the hospital Trust, the Care Quality Commission, NHS England and the Secretary of State for Health, is to empower nurses with the facts, to enable them to challenge poor and unsafe practice.

He said, “I feel there is a need for the public to know that what happened at Tameside continues to happen and could well be replicated elsewhere at other hospitals. The Francis Report, which recommended a series of measures after an investigation into high mortality rates and poor patient care in Mid-Staffordshire, seems to have been written off as too expensive.

“But we spend less per capita on healthcare than many countries, including the United States, and without sufficient nurses (and junior doctors) the outcome for many patients will remain poor.”

Milton Peña came to Britain as a refugee from the coup d’état in Chile more than 40 years ago, and the book also explores his experience of those events, suffering torture and fleeing from the fascist regime.