Letter – Jeremy Hunt 5

Sent via e-mail

10 July 2014

Rt Hon Mr Jeremy Hunt

Health Secretary


Dear Mr Hunt

Re: My case as an NHS Whistleblower

Thank you for referring my case to the Trust Development Authority (TDA).

I met with Kathy Mclean, Chief Executive of TDA on 16 June. Roger Kline was present to support me. Kathy took down my details and was genuinely interested.

TDA are responsible for non-foundation trusts. For my travelling distance area this included The Imperial and West Middlesex Hospital. I was informed that the Medical Director at The Imperial had several jobs that might be suitable, despite my background being radiology. Some experiences and expertise are transferable.

I had a brief chat over the phone and subsequently met with The Medical Director, Christopher Harrison yesterday. He informed me that they were currently undertaking work to reach foundation trust. The inspection is due in September. So, I may be able to help, although he was not sure at what capacity I could be working and the post would be temporary but could be fixed to a year. However, after one year, I would have to apply for a permanent post.

Although I really did enjoy meeting the medical director and have a high regard for The Imperial, I have serious reservations:

  1. If the Imperial is successful at achieving foundation status, it will no longer be under the control of TDA. Therefore, how safe is my temporary post? It may not even last a year.
  2. After 1 year I am expect to apply for job again. So, I will be in exactly the same situation in a year’s time as I am now.

I want a permanent solution to my current situation not a temporary one. I have suffered now for nearly 5 years and the matter needs to be resolved in a definitive way.

I am in the old NHS contract which means I can retire at 60 years, which is in 5 years’ time. These are possible solutions:

  1. Secure my monthly pay and pension until I retire. Pension and income backdated from when my contract ended with Ealing Trust in February 2012. This way there won’t be a break in pension. I am happy to work and help as jobs are found or created. Maybe something relating to advice and help for other whistleblowers/trusts/patients.
  1. I am also happy to retire now as long as my mortgage is paid for (£160,000) and there is no actuation costs. I have cancer so may be entitled to no losses to actuation costs, as well as some benefits. So, I may be able to live a relatively normal life. I have been unable to pay my mortgage for the last 5 years, and have been only able to pay the interest. You can imagine what a deep concern that is.

I had sent the relevant forms to Ealing Trust, before my cancer was diagnosed, looking into early retirement as an option. Ealing Trust refused saying they would not sign the form which would have meant no actuation cost. They claimed my job loss was due to redundancy (allegedly due to new technology in the department) despite winning interim Relief hearing, and receiving a letter of apology into my treatment as a whistleblower. Most of the 2 years pay I received, as you know, went on legal costs.

My health currently is not bad, although I get tired.  I have not been given the ‘all clear’ as nodules remain in my lungs. My consultant is not sure, as it’s too risky to biopsy, to determine whether these are remains of the cancer or scar tissue. I have to have intravenous treatment via my inserted port every 3 weeks for the foreseeable future and I am on medication.

I am not sure, how long my health will hold up. My future is uncertain, in more ways than one. After nearly 5 years of stressful existence, I just want a more meaningful and peaceful life.

There has been no justice or any independent investigation into my case. Raising serious concerns has been pointless. Instead I have now lost my career, my health and my pension remains compromised. I don’t want to also lose my home. You know my case well, and have reiterated your determination to support whistleblowers. However, in the meantime and for the foreseeable future I am suffering terribly as a result of raising a public interest and then being victimised. I do hope you will help me in the light of the above and intervene to secure my future in some way, beyond what I have been offered.

Yours sincerely

Sharmila Chowdhury

One thought on “Letter – Jeremy Hunt 5

  1. Pingback: I now have a job – apparently!! | sharmilachowdhury

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