NHS whistleblower who exposed understaffing at intensive care unit claims ‘three years on and nothing’s changed’

MIRROR 5 AUG 2017

BY MARTYN HALLE    
 

Chris Day was removed from consultant training by health chiefs after publicising his fears in 2014 – with his bosses claiming he had “personal and professional conduct issues”

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, south-east London (Image: PA)

A doctor who exposed understaffing at an intensive care unit says he has been vindicated by a report showing it still remains three years later.

Whistleblower Chris Day was removed from consultant training by health chiefs after publicising his fears in 2014. His bosses claimed that he had “personal and professional conduct issues”.

Dr Day, now a locum, told of his dismay as it emerged a report by NHS inspectors from South London Critical Care Network revealed “significant concerns” about the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich.

They found it had just one consultant for 19 critically ill patients, in breach of a recommended ratio averaging about one to five. Their report said bosses had “no clear recognition” of the consistent problem “nor any plans to address this”.

It flagged up a lack of leadership and said the hospital’s death rate for patients is among the highest for units that size.

Dr Chris Day NHS whistleblower from Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich

The report was released to the Sunday People under Freedom of Information laws after a tip-off by a senior member of medical staff at a London hospital.

Dr Day, 32, said: “This report proves I was right. It’s a disgrace that patients are exposed to the same risks three years after I raised concerns.

“Some may have died because the health trust hasn’t acted.

“It beggars belief that the patients are still being exposed to the same risks three years after I raised concerns. It is a disgrace and it seems that nobody really cares.

“They have spent three years and hundreds of thousands of public money trying to silence me. And still they are neglecting the patients.”

He added: “I am so grateful to the doctor who gave the tip-off, otherwise the report would have been hidden.”

Last night Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb told the Sunday People: “This is deeply disturbing.

“Patient safety and great care is always enhanced when organisations face up to failures of care, when critical reports are in the public domain rather than kept hidden and when staff feel able to speak out about concerns.”

Father-of-two Chris, whose wife Melissa is a nurse, was removed from consultant training suddenly by Public Education England after raising his original concerns.

Chris obtained the new report with a Freedom of Information request after being tipped off by senior intensive care consultant at a London teaching hospital.

Lewisham and Greenwich Trust said it will “address all issues” in the report.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s