Express and Star 14.5.16
Whistleblowers today demanded the boss of New Cross Hospital resign after a damning report into the way he treated a staff member who made allegations over death rates and fraud.
David Loughton, who runs the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, was found to be ‘dismissive’ of the allegations by Staffordshire whistleblower Sandra Haynes-Kirkbright and had tried to ‘kick them into the long grass’ ahead of a key visit by a health watchdog.
The £200,000-a-year boss told the author of the investigation report that ‘no-one cares’ about allegations of fraud and that some people would say ‘good on you’ for ‘fiddling’ figures to get more money for the Trust. Today three senior doctors said Mr Loughton’s position had become untenable.
Sandra Haynes-Kirkbright, who raised concerns about the trust that runs New Cross Hospital, right
Dr David Drew, a whistleblower sacked from Walsall Manor Hospital, said the report demonstrated how those who raise concerns in the NHS are treated.
He said: “David Loughton has to be finished. He has to go. I cannot see how his position is remotely tenable after what has been revealed.”
Background to this story
- New Cross Hospital whistleblower: How coding boss was signed off sick and then suspended
- New Cross Hospital whistleblower: ‘Now I’ve finally been heard I want my reputation back’
- New Cross Hospital whistleblower: Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust statement in full
- Revealed: New Cross Hospital whistleblower ‘unfairly treated’
- Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital worker paid throughout three year suspension
- Inquiry launched into Wolverhampton New Cross Hospital whistleblower treatment
- Wolverhampton New Cross Hospital death rate whistleblower faces sack
Professor David Ferry, who revealed that at least 55 cancer patients at New Cross were given extra chemotherapy treatment they did not need between 2005 and 2010, and was subsequently outed by New Cross after wanting to remain anonymous, said: “His behaviour cannot be tolerated. He has a track record of burying his head in the sand when it comes to serious concerns being raised. Despite what happened at Mid Staffs he is not learning his lessons. He cares more about reputational management than anything else. He has to resign or be sacked.”
And Dr Raj Mattu, a leading heart surgeon who was suspended by Mr Loughton while chief executive at Coventry Walsgrave Hospital after he exposed how two patients died in overcrowded bays, said: “It is time for Mr Loughton to be held to account and investigated fully. This man is not fit to hold senior public office.”
Dr Mattu was awarded £1.2 million in damages after being wrongly accused of fraud, sexual impropriety and assault in a case that is believed to have cost the NHS more than £10m.
Mrs Haynes-Kirkbright, who has been suspended from her £55,000 role as a coder since 2012, alleged the trust had fraudulently made money by charging for treatments it had not performed. The 52-year-old from Stafford also raised concerns that death rates were being made to look better than they were because they were wrongly registered.
Mr Loughton told investigators: “No one cares. If I’m fiddling money and stuff like that, it wouldn’t even get printed. Some people would probably give me a pat on the back and say: ‘If you are fiddling to try and get more money for the hospital, good on you’.”