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NHS nurses 'penalised for caring'

6 February 2013 Last updated at 08:55 GMT

The public inquiry into the failings at Stafford Hospital - one of the biggest scandals in the history of the NHS - will publish its conclusions later.

Previous investigations have already established in harrowing detail the abuse and neglect that contributed to hundreds of deaths from 2005 to 2008.

This inquiry has looked at why regulators and senior NHS managers failed to pick up what was happening.

The Today programme's Sarah Montague investigates how hospital wards turn from what should be a compassionate environment into one where nurses are allowed to give up on the most basic standards of care.

NHS workers' voices have been replaced by the voices of actors to protect those workers' identities.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme on Wednesday 6 February 2013.