ACCOUNTABILITY – NORTH MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL AND THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY

By Fiona Bell – NHS Patient Safety campaigner & NHS Whistleblower

It seems ludicrous that those of us that “speak up” or “blow the whistle” are punished in the most cruelest of ways, to a point that some never work again.

Then there are those at the top of the tree, who still appear to be Teflon coated.

Julie Lowe the chief executive who according to the Sunday People presided over 287 unexplained death at North Middlesex, has been found a new job allegedly by NHS Improvement. The organisation is responsible for patient safety.

It seems the trend continues, instead of ensuring Lowe is held to account for the harm and suffering caused while she ran the trust, she is found a new job in the NHS.

Faced with the damning CQC report in July, it was clear that Lowe had to go. It appears that she was quietly moved out without either being sacked or suspended.

Neither Lowe or her chairman of three years, John Carrier, a former Labour councilor will be held to account for the misery they have caused to both patients and staff.

The most recent report by CQC details bullying and racism, here’s the link to the full report.
http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/RAPNM I’m fully aware that CQC is often criticised, however, my sources assure me what has been reported is correct.

Lowe is now seconded to the North East London Sustainability and Transformation Programme where she is working as director of provider collaboration. (See picture below)


A source at North Middlesex Hospital advised that Lowe had been removed with the minimum of fuss on the orders of NHS Improvement. In a recent meeting with the new CEO,  When questions were raised in regard to Ms. Lowe, the advice was to ask NHS Improvement.

She is understood to have kept her £160,000 salary and been given assurances that she will not be subject to any disciplinary action.
The deal is shrouded in secrecy.

I then formally wrote to the Trust about their chairman copying in the Department of Health ( Mr. Hunt’s office)  The trust directed me to NHS Improvement, DH didn’t want to get involved.

My view is Lowe and Carrier should be formally suspended and investigated. If you’re in any doubt read the CCQ reports. It leaves you in no doubt that good staff have been trying to raise concerns, and feel totally ignored.

The Care Quality Commission should subject both to its fit and proper person test which is supposed to prevent failed NHS bosses from just being moved on rather than sacked.

What is happening to Ms. Lowe and Carrier is something the NHS has done time and time again: protect its own ( or at least those at the very top of the tree)

I’m advised North Middlesex Hospital do not intend to say anything further about the terms of Julie’s secondment as these are confidential matters subject to a legal agreement between themselves and Julie Lowe.

In regard to Mr. Carrier, he, of course, is still in post. Though I am told he did not attend today’s board meeting due to “sickness”  If a whistleblower had come forward and spoken out publicly, I’m pretty confident,even after “Speak up review” they would not be in post, they would, in fact, be on the bones of their backsides, signing on down at their local jobcentre plus.

 

Comments from Sharmila:

Julie Lowe was the CEO of Ealing Hospital where potential fraud were reported.  Instead of investigating the reported concerns independently, she had allowed this practice to continue

 

Julie Lowe

Julie Lowe Director of provider collaboration for North East London

Undercover filming from ITVs Exposure team, 2 years on,   discovered that no only had the fraudulent practices not stopped, but the team had filmed that consultants were taking direct payments from patients to undertake ultrasounds which went into their private account while working at Ealing.

Following this, the footage was brought to the attention of Julie Lowe, and an FOI was requested by the ITVs team. Instead of responding, Lowe, left Ealing within 3 months to join The North Middlesex Hospital.

http://www.northmid.nhs.uk/Portals/0/assets/Sept%202013.pdf

She was allowed to continue to work as a CEO and whilst at North Middlesex, she had overseen serious unsafe patient safety practices.

Following damning report from CQC, Lowe has been moved again, to join as a Director of provider collaboration for North East London.

My question is simple: ‘how many times will Lowe be moved without accountability and at a high cost to patients and staff safety?’

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “ACCOUNTABILITY – NORTH MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL AND THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY

  1. I’m hearing bad things (again) about Sue Green, former Director of HR at Wirral University Hospital Trust who was suspended amid allegations of bullying.

    Grievances from junior staff filled the air like confetti, but Mrs G managed to leave with a pay off of £205,000 before walking into a new senior HR position at Fazakerley Hospital. She left a trail of carnage behind her. One staff member took up the fight but ultimately was left jobless, penniless, homeless and feeling suicidal.

    Green is now “making her mark” at Fazakerley.

    Green’s husband David tried (and failed) to have me sacked when I took the honourable course of blowing the whistle on a scam involving £thousands of pounds in public money at Wirral Council in 2003.

    Mr G was suspended about 10 years later following £multimillion contract irregularities but got whitewashed by a senior officer “union rep” called Richard Penn and the crooked status quo we’re accustomed to was restored when he walked away with £103,000.

    A well-connected, wealthy, prosperous, but NOT very nice family!

  2. My complaints of abusive seclusion practices prompted two internal inquiries at TEWV NHS Roseberry Park forensic MH and LD Hospital during 2011 and 2012. Its Neolithic practices I had not seen since my student days during the 70’s but which were considered normal in this outpost. Both “inquiry” whitewashes were ordered by CEO Martin Berkley following my two 50+ page complaints made directly to him and my eventual meeting with him in August 2011. I was of course eventually fired for legitimately looking at the computer file of one patient victim thrown into 9 hours of head-banging blood smeared seclusion neglect before the consultant who had telephone authorized the event for the heinous crime of throwing a medicine cup of water at the senior nurse turned up at the end and ordered tranquilizer jabs anyway and had to be carried out, dumped on a beanbag and unable to take a call from her mother. I was of course duly referred to the NMC whose contracted solicitor returned and pondered the absence of any wrong doing before arriving at a blinder… I had complained.. without the victims consent!!!! …well of course and the punishment? Four+ years of special practice conditions requiring regular review meetings…study courses on confidentiality etc etc. The CQC ignored me until I virtually battered their Newcastle door down and in 2014 just a month after being found “guilty” by the professional NMC nitwits they 3-day raided the place and guess what? They found calm patients locked up not knowing why they were secluded along with hopeless policies and paperwork. They were ordered to conduct an urgent 6 month change programme and who do you think was given the task? ..the consultant who ordered the 9 hour seclusion and the manager who fired me of course and who had declared in the findings of the second internal inquiry that the hospital’s seclusion practices were “within the law”. His name is Levi Buckley and the consultant was Dr Kougha. What then?… four years later the only work I could get was at perhaps the grottiest care home that I have ever come across with a varied history of complaints about basic care and neglect. The CQC hopelessly and inconsistently attempting to address these matters and the home simply denying them so I took a photo of neglectful practice.. already previously denied then again denied by the home when I raised it and reported to social services. so I published it on Facebook and the NMC prosecution barrister nearly had a paroxysm.. “A photo of a patient receiving care!” the 27 year old regurgitated.. “I think you’ll find that its a picture is of neglect” I replied…”why would I picture care?”. I was of course struck off. The manager of this home after it closed? ..she was put in charge of a new one of course and the latest CQC report glowing and curiously referring to each issue in turn previously complained about both by myself and other former staff. Merry Christmas. Oh yes, postscript. Following the five week grotty care home experience in May 2015 and a year after NMC prosecution and the raiding of Roseberry Park hospital the sr CQC inspector who planned it heard about my plight and rang me to acknowledge the truth of my complaints and their findings and even offered advice about handling the NMC! Maybe I should have just joined in with the other nurses and kept quiet. Its a crazy world.

  3. Pingback: NHS whistleblowing articles in 2016: TWO years post Francis Review with NO change | sharmilachowdhury

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