Mirror 27 MAR 2016 BY 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
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.
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.”
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.
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.