The following outrageous letter was sent by Department of Health on Friday. Despite winning hearing and being proven to be a whistleblower.
From: Bird, Chris
Sent: 30 May 2014 15:57
To: Jones, Edward; Bhasin, Raghuv; Davies, David; McLeod, Kristen Cc: Beeby, Sue; Harrison, Paul
Subject: RE: Letter to Jeremy Hunt – Help and Justice for Sharmila Chowdhury
Text of the letter that should have been sent to Sharmila from Dan:
PO00000834159 Ms Sharmila Chowdhury
Thank you for your letter of 19th December to Jeremy Hunt in which you call for an urgent review of your whistleblowing case. I should clarify that we received your letter through your local MP, Angie Bray. Ms Bray copied to Mr Hunt her letter of 9th January to Professor Sir Malcolm Grant, Chairman of NHS England, enclosing your letter of 19th December.
I have noted your concerns but I hope you will appreciate that the Department of Health has no powers to intervene in individual cases. The Department of Health would not wish to circumvent or duplicate existing processes where other organisations have relevant statutory powers or are more appropriately placed to investigate. Nor would the Department wish to prejudice the outcome of any current or future legal action. I realise that this reply may be disappointing, but it is important to clarify the Department of Health’s position.
With regard to whistleblowing more generally, this Government has made it clear that improvements in and awareness of whistleblowing procedures are a priority. Whistleblowing contributes to the development of greater transparency and openness in the NHS, ensuring that patients can be confident of receiving high quality care.
The Government fully supports whistleblowing and we wish to see a culture in the NHS where whistle-blowers feel able to come forward and raise genuine concerns in good faith without fear of repercussion or reprisal. We have made it clear to NHS organisations that they should have policies and procedures in place that support and encourage staff to raise concerns, and that those concerns should be acted upon. It is completely unacceptable for any individual to suffer detrimental treatment for raising a concern. It is for this reason that the Department of Health supported the introduction of vicarious liability into employment law. This now ensures that any individual who speaks out on matters of public interest will also be protected in law from suffering detrimental treatment by a co-worker, as well as by their employer.
In addition, the Department of Health funds a helpline for whistle-blowers which offers free, impartial and confidential advice to NHS and social care staff, who wish to raise concerns but are not sure how to, or what protections they have in law when they do so. The Helpline is also currently refreshing guidance on whistle-blowing, to include managers and staff from adult social care and the NHS. Information on the helpline is available at this website: www.wbhelpline.org.uk.
Finally, the NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) has been established to provide support, oversight and governance for all NHS Trusts in delivering high quality services. Information is available at the TDA website at www.ntda.nhs.uk.
I hope this reply is helpful.
DR DAN POULTER
cc Angie Bray MP
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