Letter from DoH 30/5/2014

The following outrageous letter was sent by Department of Health on Friday. Despite winning hearing and being proven to be a whistleblower.

From: Bird, Chris

Sent: 30 May 2014 15:57

To: Jones, Edward; Bhasin, Raghuv; Davies, David; McLeod, Kristen Cc: Beeby, Sue; Harrison, Paul

Subject: RE: Letter to Jeremy Hunt – Help and Justice for Sharmila Chowdhury

Text of the letter that should have been sent to Sharmila from Dan:

PO00000834159 Ms Sharmila Chowdhury

Thank you for your letter of 19th December to Jeremy Hunt in which you call for an urgent review of your whistleblowing case.  I should clarify that we received your letter through your local MP, Angie Bray.  Ms Bray copied to Mr Hunt her letter of 9th January to Professor Sir Malcolm Grant, Chairman of NHS England, enclosing your letter of 19th December.

I have noted your concerns but I hope you will appreciate that the Department of Health has no powers to intervene in individual cases.  The Department of Health would not wish to circumvent or duplicate existing processes where other organisations have relevant statutory powers or are more appropriately placed to investigate.  Nor would the Department wish to prejudice the outcome of any current or future legal action. I realise that this reply may be disappointing, but it is important to clarify the Department of Health’s position.

With regard to whistleblowing more generally, this Government has made it clear that improvements in and awareness of whistleblowing procedures are a priority. Whistleblowing contributes to the development of greater transparency and openness in the NHS, ensuring that patients can be confident of receiving high quality care.

The Government fully supports whistleblowing and we wish to see a culture in the NHS where whistle-blowers feel able to come forward and raise genuine concerns in good faith without fear of repercussion or reprisal. We have made it clear to NHS organisations that they should have policies and procedures in place that support and encourage staff to raise concerns, and that those concerns should be acted upon. It is completely unacceptable for any individual to suffer detrimental treatment for raising a concern.  It is for this reason that the Department of Health supported the introduction of vicarious liability into employment law.  This now ensures that any individual who speaks out on matters of public interest will also be protected in law from suffering detrimental treatment by a co-worker, as well as by their employer.

In addition, the Department of Health funds a helpline for whistle-blowers which offers free, impartial and confidential advice to NHS and social care staff, who wish to raise concerns but are not sure how to, or what protections they have in law when they do so.  The Helpline is also currently refreshing guidance on whistle-blowing, to include managers and staff from adult social care and the NHS.  Information on the helpline is available at this website: www.wbhelpline.org.uk.

Finally, the NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) has been established to provide support, oversight and governance for all NHS Trusts in delivering high quality services.  Information is available at the TDA website at www.ntda.nhs.uk.

I hope this reply is helpful.


cc Angie Bray MP

Letter From Patients First to Jeremy Hunt

Letter from Patients First to Jeremy Hunt re Mr Ahmed at Alder Hey Hospital
Our purpose is to reduce death and harm in the NHS by campaigning for the UK Government to create policies and laws that ensure the NHS becomes open and accountable and we will actively support all those who raise concerns about patient safety.  patientspfirst@aol.co.uk

By email only to Secretary of State for Health Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

April 17th 2014

Dear Secretary of State

Re Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Foundation Trust

We are sorry to have to write to you yet again especially over Easter with regard to an NHS whistleblower, but we believe we should bring your attention urgently to the situation within the forenamed Trust, which has been ruthless and we believe is continuing in its aggressive approach towards anyone who dares speak up for patients.

I (Kim Holt) became aware of problems within Alder Hey around 5 years ago when I was approached for advice with regard to a false referral to a psychiatrist. Mr Ahmed was falsely claimed to be suicidal, and referred for a psychiatric opinion. He was not at all suicidal but had been raising concerns regarding unsafe surgical practice that placed children at risk.

He has endured five years of persistent attempts to discipline or discredit him, periods of suspension and sick leave, and has been prevented from continuing in his surgical specialty, which he was very good at and loved. This in itself is not only cruel but a waste of public money.

The ruthless approach towards whistleblowers at Alder Hey then spread to another surgeon Professor Jesudason who tried to support Mr Ahmed. The Trust then turned on Mr Jesudason. He has now had to leave his post and will probably never work again in surgery. Continue reading

Meeting with Ed Jones, Special Advisor to Jeremy Hunt-Sharmila Chowdhury 16 April 2014


A Meeting was held today at Richmond House in Whitehall today with Ed Jones, Special Advisor to Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary. I was accompanied by James Titcombe, National Advisor on Patient Safety, Culture and Quality at CQC.   The meeting was held following letters sent about my case to Jeremy Hunt and Ed Jones from Sir David Prior, Chairman of CQC, James Titcombe and my MP, Angie Bray.  

Ed and Jeremy are wanting to listen and believe that staff who raise genuine concerns in the interests of patients should be supported and not excluded from working in the NHS and Ed undertook to consider the issues further.

Continue reading

Fantastic Response on Website Launch 14 April 2014

Some of the messages:

Dr Phil Hammond  @drphilhammond  Brilliant NHS whistleblowers website  from@sharmilaxx A great resource for those who need help from someone who knows sharmilachowdhury.com

JamesTitcombe  @JamesTitcombe  @sharmilaxx @NHSwhistleblowr@Edwin1432 @JFecitt @drkimholt@katemasters67 @rogerkline Well done Sharmila….

Dr Umesh Prabhu @DrUmeshPrabhu         @sharmilaxx @ninalakhani@drphilhammond @vsmacdonald@PatientsFirstNI @ClinicalConcern

This is why I use twitter. Your site will be useful

Julie Bailey  @curetheNHS  Read the facts about one brave whistleblower experience @sharmilaxx sharmilachowdhury.com/the-facts/

Dan  @gracenglorydan  Chilling reading – The Factswp.me/P4tW0D-n via @sharmilaxx#whist

Jennie Fecitt @JFecitt @sharmilaxx @NHSwhistleblowr@Edwin1432 @drkimholt @katemasters67@rogerkline @JamesTitcombe Super Sharmila … Exceptionally informative 🙂

Dee Speers @joinedU1  @sharmilaxx @willcpowell@DonnellyHelene @curetheNHS@PatientsFirstNI @DebHazeldine Thank you Sharmilla, Your integrity is much appreciated!



Thank you for visiting my new website.

It was created by Walter Wyeth – so a huge thanks to Walter.

The reason this website has come about is to raise awareness of NHS whistleblowers and what can happen when serious concerns are raised.

There are articles, information and helplines that I hope you will find useful.

Whatever your background, hopefully you will find this website both informative and helpful. Feedback is really appreciated as I will be adding and updating the site on a regular basis

If you have any comments or ideas which would be helpful to visitors to this site, then please contact me.

Thank You ,Sharmila