Trainee consultant who blew whistle on understaffed intensive care ward backed by ONE THOUSAND doctors

Mirror  27 MAR 2016      MARTYN HALLE
Dr Chris Day was left in charge of 15 seriously ill patients plus four other wards but has now been removed from national training scheme for consultants
Dr Chris Day
Dr Chris Day is now scraping a living as a locum working in A&E units

 

More than 1,000 doctors have written to the General Medical Council backing a trainee consultant who faces losing his career for blowing the whistle.

Dr Chris Day fears his plans to qualify as a consultant are over after he was left in charge of 15 seriously ill intensive care patients. He warned hospitals managers it was dangerous for him to look after intensive care plus four other wards.

Bosses accepted his whistle-blowing concerns that there were too few doctors on duty. But months later – when he was moving to a new hospital – the 31 year-old found that he had been removed from the national training scheme for consultants.

The move was made by Health Education England – an arm of the Department of Health – which is responsible for junior doctor training.

General Medical Council
Doctors have written to the General Medical Council

The General Medical Council also has a training role and the doctors are appealing for it to intervene.

Chris, a dad of two young children and married to a nurse, said: “They took away my training number and without that you are out. No reason was given and I had no way of appealing.

“When I asked if I could appeal Health Education England told me it had suspended its appeal process.”

 

Attempts to take his case for being a whistle-blower to an employment tribunal foundered last week. An employment appeals tribunal ruled that junior doctors are not covered by tribunals because they only have one year contracts renewed every year.

The judge accepted Health Education England’s argument that Parliament never intended to give junior doctors protection under whistle-blowing legislation.

Chris, from Woolwich, South London, who had glowing reports for his work as a trainee consultant, is now left to scrape a living as a locum working in A&E units. He said: “I think my chances of becoming a consultant in the UK are now over. The ruling is very worrying as it’s saying that if you are one of 54,000 junior doctors and you blow the whistle you have no protection. We don’t think that’s what parliament intended but that was the ruling.”

Stefan Rousseau/PA WireHealth Secretary Jeremy Hunt
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has denied responsibility for the case

 

Papers setting out Dr Day’s case were served on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt .

Chris said: “At first Hunt replied promising to review the case. But he then changed his position and proceeded to deny all legal responsibility for my whistle-blowing case.”

He is now pinning his hopes on an appeal to the High Court. Chris blew the whistle while working at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich SE London where he says the intensive care ward was ‘routinely’ understaffed against national guidelines.

Rowan Griffiths/Daily MirrorQueen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich
Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich

 

He said: “There should have been three doctors not just me.” A spokesman for the hospital said that since Dr Day raised his concerns intensive care staffing had been increased. A spokesman for Health Education England said it couldn’t comment as legal proceedings may still be pending.

52 thoughts on “Trainee consultant who blew whistle on understaffed intensive care ward backed by ONE THOUSAND doctors

  1. Well what a contradiction in turn ! After the stafford enquiry one of the recommendations was that anybody who whistle blew would and should be protected …. So where’s the protection ?

  2. Disgraceful but as someone who represented several nurses who whistle blew believe me they were never protected within the NHS. My heart goes out to you and your family

    • Likewise fbel226 yet know of many who have not been protected. Hi time the British people step up to the mark and protect both our NHS and our staff, perhaps that would go some way to appropriately thanking those who have had the courage to speak out and suffered unacceptable, dire consequences for having done so

      It may even enable others who are never about speaking out to come forward

  3. ooops i should have said – can the whistleblower please explain their statement’. when they posted ‘The story is not entirely true’. We will all be looking forward to hearing from you, BTW are you a (not so) HR bod?

  4. This cannot be allowed to continue and as our politicians are clearly not willing to do anything, it is high time the British people stepped up to the mark and defended both our NHS and our staff. People who have blown the whistle, did so in our best interests, now it is time we return the favour

    None of this can continue any longer than the British people allow it to http://www.bit.ly/britishtaxpayers

  5. The hospitals are understaffed as it is yet is doctor is unable to further his training because of his concerns about staffing levels.
    As a tax payer for over forty years we should be making the people using our services without paying into system pay for their treatment.
    To many people arriving into the uk and getting free treatment.

    • That sounds good in practice but it costs a lot of money to go chasing after people with a bill and we already routinely do it at a London hospital I work in anyway. Within the grand scheme of things it’s not ‘health tourists’ who are draining NHS resources.

      It’s actually the fact that there’s so much corruption being instituted by projects such as ‘Private Financial Investment’ of hospitals or the internal market/forced privatisation of the NHS. It is these measures which are blowing our budget unnecessarily on interest repayments and mismanagement of resources.

      Further to your original point, your plan would seem to suggest that people who are homeless or in abject poverty shouldn’t be given care? Not providing preventative treatment in the form of vaccinations etc is actually bad for your health. If we don’t treat them for things such as measles or meningitis it puts you at risk.

      That’s why the 2012 Health & Social Care Act is an abomination because it’s allowed public health funding to be slashed to the point that TB, HIV etc is needlessly on the rise. Costing us more money in the long run.

      Add in the fact that we can’t be bothered to train any nurses/doctors/midwives/allied health professionals and you can see why we waste so much money on agency staff.

      If you want someone to blame, it’s not the foreigners, it’s the politicians and private healthcare at home.

      • Well said! and absolutely spot on, as evidenced bit.lyNHScorruption1 and bit.ly/NHScorruption2

        Our politicians of ALL political persuasions are indeed at the root of this and indeed all the problems we face

        Our junior doctors have and continue to go above and beyond, as do all our NHS staff. It is therefore hi time the British people step up to the mark, defend both our NHS and our staff, before doing what needs to be done bit.ly/britishtaxpayers rather than pointing the finger of blame

  6. A few facts need to be straightened out here: why was appeals process suspended and did doctor appeal once suspension lifted? What was ARCP outcome before loss of number? Tribunal ruling must be challenged – Jun docs move around every six to twelve months but under one employer – the NHS – and this must be sorted for the purpose of UK employment law – this is what will allow govt to impose contract in August when all rotate. GMC are useless and can barely handle what they’re supposed to do let alone take on the remit of HEE. Check Gold Guide for the rules – removal of a number can’t just happen. Further some new medical defence organisations like dddu will defend people with outcome 4s. Needless to say if any junior feels tempted to speak out or fill in an incident form – don’t! This is the crap you get.

  7. This person raised concerns on behalf of his patients. How can that be perceived as wrong? The action taken is on par to a dictator run country and not the democratic country our government would have us believe we reside in.

    • Well said Linda, nail on the head. High time the British people step up to the mark and protect both our NHS and our staff, especially those who have suffered unacceptably dire consequences for having spoken out in our best interests. To do so, might even go some way to appropriately thinking them for having done so, as well as enabling others who may be nervous about speaking out, to do so

  8. I thought that we becoming transparent & open within the nhs . After the Bristol disgrace I was under the impression that whistle blowing was to ge encouraged . This is an absolute disgrace & should be highlighted as it is was done in the interest of patient care & safety

  9. This man should be applauded for his courage not suspended from furthering his career. Hunt should be suspended – or better still kicked out along with the rest of his cronies.

  10. Yet again a whistle blower in the NHS gets no protection. There is something rotten at the heart of the NHS and it needs to be cut out. Surely if we, the general public,
    Stand together we can bring change

  11. I known Dr Day to be an honourable young man dedicated to his career. Re- instate his consultancy training and be proud that your young doctors care enough about their patients to put their livelihoods on the line.

  12. A decent increase in income tax would sort these problems but the average UK subject has been brainwashed by successive Tory governments(including Blair’s) into becoming a selfish fool.

  13. Employees DO NOT need to have any years of service when they take employer to ET for discrimination …. Dr Day has been discriminated due to his WB.
    Can someone please investigate the (not so) HR department for not following their polices and procedures – These (highly paid) and incompetent staff members who all stick together are ruining lives of honest and caring NHS staff.

    Why are questions NOT being asked/investigated regarding the outcome of the WB’s concerns?

    No Trust/HB should be investigating themselves when serious concerns are raised – they are getting their untrained IO’s, HR and management in to ‘cover up’ and produce flawed investigations, which lead onto flawed disciplinary & appeal hearings …. Nepotism is rife.
    The employee/WB ends up at an ET often at their own cost – the hospitals have the tax payer picking up their legal bills…

    OMG – When is it all going to be investigated?

    • Well said Ellen. I totally agree with everything being said. Come on people stick together and refuse to be controlled by fear. I am interested in knowing what stance the unions representing the NHS are going to take?

  14. So we reach the clear conclusion that the NHS is a dictatorship. Is this really happening in a democratic country? As in all dictatorships who suffers are the citizens, in the NHS nurses and doctors…

    Grossly overworked and underpaid.

    I have worked in intensive care unit for 2 years as a nurse and grave mistakes have been made due to the constant understaffing (routine), MANY TIMES mistakes that have leaded to patients death

  15. Reinstate this brave man, to leave this man in charge of all those wards was wrong, punish the hospital trust,

  16. huh! and they always say whistleblowers are protected? nahhhhhh he should be admired for coming out and telling this matter for the benefit if patient’s safety!! but i have never known anyone who whistleblow to be protected, they always make your life hell afterwards hence nobody speaks up!!!!

  17. They get us to do all there safety courses and make us sign off saying that we have competed and understand them. And then they tell us to do the total opposite in the field or where fired. What a joke. Do you really won’t your mothers , fathers , your own children or grand parents staying in an under staffed hospital. Simply because of budget cuts. This man needs to be reinstated and this Jeremy Hunt needs to resign and go do the safety causes again and read through the rules and regulations of how many paitants to a carere or Nurse or Doctor.

  18. I would like to compare this to the recent case at the High Court regarding The blacklisting of building contractors/labourers who’s income and ability to work significantly suffered due to whistleblowing.
    You could say “Dr Day” has been Blacklisted from furthering his career for whistleblowing and sue for substantial damages…not that I Know much about the law…I can’t see how it differs.

  19. We are all told that if you see it, report it.
    It’s disgusting that you never get backed up if you do.
    I have reported incidents too, only for them not to be followed up or implemented . What is the point in whistle blowing when you could face the sack for trying to put things right?
    The NHS is overstretched & staff are overworked. It’s time someone decent stepped in & took care of this failing organisation. It’s only when the press get involved & things come to light for the public to see, that action is taken. How about taking action now & listen to the staff that keep these wards & departments running because they DO care?
    The consultant needs reinstating. How can they dismiss him for giving a shit about his patients & workload?!
    What a joke the NHS is turning into!

  20. I would like to offer my support. The authorities should support whistle blowers. We all go on the mandatory training and read the whistle blowing policies in the NHS but the reality is all staff can easily be bullied if it suits the ‘book’

    • i agree with Margaret…. Dr Day if you are reading these comments (which I am sure you are) why don’t you contact the media and get your story out on TV documentary? If any BBC/ITV/C4 etc are aware please seek to expose this issue and the many more, get J Hunt in front of the camera for an interview and x examination from other WB’s….

      Whilst we are here… lets also get those involved with paying for the ‘WB Guardian’ who never took up her 2 day/wk job lol x

      We don’t need a GUARDIAN when we are blowing the whistle and being ignored, victimised and finally sacked after a Stanalist Show Trial investigation, hearing (all done by NHS corrupt management).

      What would have happened when the GUARDIAN raised concerns, blew the whistle post her investigations? Would she have been moved, investigated, dismissed on false allegations? Perhaps this is the reason why Dame Guardian resigned !!!!!

  21. Absolutely disgusting this man should be rewarded for whistleblowing, it takes a lot of courage to do this for anyone and now what’s this saying to others who are thinking of whistleblowing. Do it and loose your job. People wistleblow to protect the patients and the staff. It’s hard work working in a hospital and everywhere is understaffed it’s shocking really.

  22. This is exactly the type of consultant the public want working in our NHS. One who actually cares. Please reinstate him back onto the programme.

  23. If they ever get to check out the QE hospital, they should also check out the gross understaffing and mismanagement of its former sister hospital at the Princess Royal in Farnborough, Kent.
    The intensive care stroke unit saved my wife’s life, while the general care unit, which was grossly understaffed, impeded her recovery and nearly cost her her life.

  24. I reported my husband’s death in 2013 in intensive care ,lies in paper work and lies to me and family ,not been happy because thay just push you to the side as if your the one that makeing it up trying to get doctors to be truefull is a joke now there saying that can’t do anything about it makes me sick i am under mental health and have been since 2014 all i wont is them to be truefull to me his care was shit in his last day with us no one told us he was going to die

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