Blowing the whistle – Letter to the Editor

The Times  April 30 2015

Fifty doctors urge the main political parties to properly protect NHS staff who blow the whistle on unsafe care

Sir, All main parties say the health service is a priority. Yet political pledges to save the NHS and to invest in the health service are hollow and meaningless as long as politicians allow staff to be victimised, putting patient safety at risk.

There have been numerous cases where dedicated staff in the NHS have been victimised or unfairly sacked for blowing the whistle on poor or unsafe care. Sir Robert Francis in his recent report on whistleblowers said many had been subjected to “kangaroo courts”. Sir Robert also noted that black and minority ethnic staff were more likely to be victimised than staff from a white background.

We urge party leaders to acknowledge their moral and ethical duty to treat all NHS staff fairly in order to ensure safety and quality of care, to ensure zero tolerance for the misuse of disciplinary procedures to punish staff who raise patient safety concerns and to make a specific pledge that there will be a major overhaul of NHS disciplinary procedure.

Professor Parveen Kumar CBE, Consultant Physician

Dr Clare Gerada MBE, Chair – Founders Network

Dr Ramesh Mehta, President British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin

Dr Kumar Kotegaonkar MBE, General Practitioner

Professor Barbara Wilson OBE, Consultant Neuropsychologist

Dr Kailash Chand OBE, General Practitioner, Past-Chair NHS Trust

Dr Davinder Kapur MBE, Forensic Medical Officer

Dr Syed Abidi MBE, Public Health Specialist

Dr Satya Sharma MBE, General Practitioner

Dr J S Bamrah, Medical Director, National Chair British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin

Dr Parag Singhal, Honorary Secretary, British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin

Dr Santosh Mudholkar, General Secretary, British Indian Psychiatric Association

Dr Kim Holt, Founder of PatientsFirst, Consultant Paediatrician

Lady Maha Yassaie, Consultant Pharmacist

Professor Michael Kopelman, Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychiatry

Professor Narinder Kapur, Consultant Neuropsychologist

Dr Umesh Prabhu, Medical Director

Dr A Sajayan, Consultant Anaesthetist

Dr Abrar Hussain, Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Aditya Agrawal, Consultant Surgeon

Dr Amit Kocchar, Associate Specialist, ENT

Dr Anita Mittal, Consultant Paediatrician

Dr Ankur Khandewal, General Practitioner

Dr Aruj Qayum, General Practitioner

Dr Arvind Shah, Consultant Paediatrician

Dr David Drew, Consultant Paediatrician

Dr Hasmukh Shah, General Practitioner

Dr Keshav Singhal, Consultant in Trauma and Orthopaedics

Dr Madan Samuel, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon

Dr Manjit Suchdev, General Practitioner

Dr Minh Alexander, Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Naranjan Khosa, General Practitioner

Dr Philip Abraham, Consultant Community Paediatrician

Dr Rajan Madhok, Public Health Consultant

Dr Rajendra Chaudhary, Medicolegal Advisor, Doctors and Dentists Protection Union

Dr Ravi Mene, General Practitioner

Dr Sanchit Mehendale, Consultant in Trauma and Orthopaedics

Dr Sangeetha Kolpattil, Consultant Radiologist

Dr Satheesh Mathew, Consultant Paediatrician

Dr Shyam Kumar, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr Narveshwar Sinha, General Practitioner

Dr Stephen Kemp, Consultant Neuropsychologist

Dr Suresh Rao, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr Veronica Bradley, Consultant Neuropsychologist

Dr Vishal Sahni, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr Vivek Chhabra, Speciality Doctor, Emergency Medicine

Dr Yusuf Khan, GP Trainee

Dr Ramankutty Sreekumar, Consultant in Trauma & Orthopaedics

Dr V Muraleedharan, Consultant Physician

Dr Mahnaz Alsharif, General Practitioner

3 thoughts on “Blowing the whistle – Letter to the Editor

  1. Asking them to protect wb is like leaving the fox into the chicken coop isnt strange that both parties only use you to beat the other with they are all trying to sell of the nhs and having wb isnt for them jeff3

  2. Is there any incentive or any fear of sanctions for the NHS management to behave otherwise against whistleblowers? In my case the management was awarded discretionary point on salary at the time when they were negotiating settlement with public money at a judicial mediation with a gag to prevent my ET claim of victimisation for whistleblowing going any further. I won my subsequent and further ET claim of victimisation in 2014. I am effectively blacklisted by the same management who presided over a cover up 9 years ago. The political parties will surely be happy to see such cover ups within NHS no matter what the rhetorics are. The laws need a complete overhaul and so does the ET, when hearing or deciding on cases of whistleblowing on clinical/professional issues. Cultural change will take time.

    Suggest readers to visit v=PSMiewXWSgg
    and watch questions by MSPs Adam Ingram and Neil Findlay.

  3. We have the Laws in place, the problems occur when people in power do not abide by the Laws of the Land, this creates corruption, destruction and instability.
    As stated by James Maurici, in the Modern Approach to Bias,
    The abandonment of a very important distinction between bias as a result of an interest (be it financial or otherwise) and the notice of pre-determination.

    My own thoughts are the Modern Approach to Bias adopted by the Court of Appeal needs to be redressed.

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