Please sign the petition DAVID CAMERON. WE WANT JUSTICE FOR SHARMILA CHOWDHURY NHS WHISTLEBLOWER https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/david-cameron-we-want-justice-for-sharmila-chowdhury-nhs-whistleblower
The following letter has been sent to Jeremy Hunt today:
30 May 2014
Rt Hon Mr Jeremy HuntHealth Secretary
Dear Mr Hunt
Re: My case as an NHS Whistleblower
I have just received the email (attached) from your Special Advisor, Ed Jones.
To say the letter from Dr Dan Poulter is outrageous is an understatement. I would have thought that you would have felt somewhat relieved that I was not in receipt of this letter written in February. Instead you decide it appropriate to send it to me via email today. Clearly in support.
It is scandalous that as the Secretary of State you do not take responsibility for the protection of NHS whistlebowers who are persecuted in hospitals and other settings, for which you are in charge. Instead you choose to hide by labelling ‘whistleblowing’ cases as ‘employment’ issues and do nothing to help.
In previous correspondences, you will note that I had won Interim Relief Hearing, which means that I am proven to be a whistleblower by the court. Winning this case meant that I was unfairly dismissed as a direct result of whistleblowing. Despite this, you still choose to do nothing on the grounds you cannot intervene in an “employment issue”.
I have lost my career, income and health. As you are aware I am now suffering from breast and lung cancer, which numerous consultants believe is directly due to stress suffered as a result of whistleblowing. Due to lack of income, I am also about to lose my home. This has come about because of Department of Health’s refusal to intervene. Instead they watched me suffer over a period of 4 years and turn a blind eye. I am afraid that the Department of Health (and you as Secretary of State along with your predecessor), is ultimately responsible for my current situation. Yet, you fail to behave responsibly.
It is also scandalous that I had reported fraud at my Trust, which is a criminal offence. Very large sums of tax payer’s money which should have gone on patient care have been wasted. Despite this, Department of Health, The Treasury, NHS London and No 10 failed to investigate. The perpetrators and Trust managers have not been held to account. Instead they have continued working within NHS and have been leading a normal life. In fact some of them have even been promoted. I however, who raised public interest concerns, with full documentation, have been punished. I have to question your moral judgement.
I received a phone call from your office yesterday, following my email to you copying in MP’s and journalists. I was advised that by sending the email I had compromised my situation. I have no idea what this means since nothing else I have done so far has elicited such a speedy response. I do not respond to bullying which is what I think was intended by the caller and I never have. The sheer fact that I whistleblew under immense pressure should have told you that. Despite being subjected to four gruelling years, unlike many whistleblowers, I have not suffered any mental illness or breakdown. Although I now have cancer.
To reiterate, I would like:
- My desperate financial situation to be remedied urgently for which you are responsible
- Public inquiry into my case and my treatment as a whistleblower
- Apology from you for Department of Health’s treatment of me as a whistleblower
Spokesman for Department of Health
“All too often staff who speak out about problems have felt alone and ignored. The Francis report showed the appalling consequences for patients when this happens and the Health Secretary is committed to a culture change in the NHS so that whistle blowers are supported and listened to.”
You have neither listened nor supported me. You have not stood by your words Mr Hunt. You certainly have not done anything to change the current culture in the NHS.
I am asking again that you acknowledge the reality of what has happened to myself and many others, solely for raising concerns about patient care and the public interest. Your current response might reasonably lead me to conclude that you are more annoyed about my persistence in seeking to right a wrong than you are about the original wrong doing or my treatment since.
It is clear that you either do not have an understanding of the of the consequences whistleblowing in the NHS or are in denial about them. The NHS is awash with declarations, policies, speeches and assurances but when whistleblowers are victimised the usual DH response appears to be to look the other way and talk about, “not being able to intervene because they are employment matters.”
By allowing continuing persecution of whistleblowers within the NHS you personally place patients at risk. Staff are too scared to speak up, because they consistently see what happens to others who do. This outrageous cultural behaviour within the NHS needs to end. As a leader you will need to set an example. Even at this late stage I hope you do.