Daily MIrror 3 Oct 2015 BY SIMON WRIGHT , MARTYN HALLE
Liver surgeon Ditya Agrawal, 43, was sent home in 2011 after he spoke out working practices. The Trust has since run up legal bills of at least £250,000 fighting his complaint that he was unfairly treated
NHS bosses spent almost £1MILLION keeping a consultant suspended after he raised patient safety concerns.
Liver surgeon Ditya Agrawal, 43, was sent home on full pay in 2011.
He had spoken out about his fears over working practices at his hospital.
The hospital’s Trust was later placed in special measures over high death rates in the wake of the Stafford Hospital inquiry.
But the Trust has since run up legal bills of at least £250,000 fighting Mr Agrawal’s complaint that he was unfairly treated – and has spent more than £700,000 paying his salary for four years and on locums to cover his absence. A High Court judge ruled in the consultant’s favour when the General Medical Council sought to stop him practising pending a full disciplinary hearing.
But the Trust finally sacked him in May stating “a breakdown in working relationships between you and your colleagues”.
Mr Agrawal has now appealed, claiming he has been fired for speaking out. He is backed by Labour MP Lucy Powell and Tory Sir Peter Bottomley.
Sir Peter has supported a number of NHS whistleblowers and claims Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is not doing enough to help them. He told the Commons recently the East Lancashire NHS Trust that runs the Royal Blackburn Hospital had suspended Mr Agrawal “in retaliation for raising concerns”.
He added: “There is something very fishy and wrong going on”. Mr Agrawal, now at a different hospital, said last night: “I raised concerns about patient safety and working practices. It turned into a nightmare. I want to restore my good name.”
A Trust spokesman said: “The Trust is defending Mr Agrawal’s current claims and, due to ongoing litigation, is unable to comment further.”