Whistle-blower guardians – who will employ them? Dr Massu has talked to hundreds of whistle-blowers but still advises them to keep quiet – until the culture changes.

The Telegraph on 4th February reports on the case of Dr Raj Massu: Sacked NHS whistleblower handed £1.22m damages – NHS whistleblower unfairly sacked after exposing concerns about patient safety awarded £1.22 million damages

An NHS whistleblower who was unfairly sacked after exposing concerns about patient safety has been awarded £1.22 million in damages by a hospital trust.

Cardiologist Raj Mattu claimed he had been ”vilified and bullied” and subjected to a 12-year ”witch hunt” after making the claims at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry in 2001.

He was sacked in 2010, but Birmingham Employment Tribunal ruled that he had been unfairly dismissed.

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Trust said it had agreed to pay Dr Mattu £1.22m.

Dr Mattu said: ”The overriding feeling I and my wife have is relief that there is finally a full stop. For the first time in 15 years I can look forward and plan things for the future.”

Dr Mattu publicly exposed overcrowding and fears for patient safety at the hospital in 2001.

A year later the £70,000-a-year doctor was suspended by the Trust on full pay after being accused of bullying. He was dismissed in 2010.

The tribunal found that Dr Mattu was a whistleblower and had been ”subjected to detriments” because of this, but they had been presented ”out of time” and therefore could not be considered as part of the case.

But it found the Trust was at fault by holding a disciplinary hearing against Dr Mattu while he was in hospital and could not attend.

The Trust said: ”While £1.22 million is a large amount, it is a significant reduction from the original claim and has finally resolved this matter.

”We accept that it has been difficult for all involved and are relieved that this case has now been brought to an end.”

Dr Mattu trained as a registrar at hospitals in Sheffield and London after graduating in medicine, and worked at nine NHS hospitals before moving to Coventry’s then Walsgrave Hospital.

“These concerns progress and culminate in my publicly blowing the whistle regarding lies told by the Trust in an attempt to cover up the avoidable deaths of patients.”
Dr Mattu

In a witness statement submitted to the tribunal, he accused his employer of endangering lives by allowing overcrowding on its wards.

Describing his treatment by the Trust as a “tragedy”, the cardiologist said: “My case turns on many events, which start in 1998 with my raising serious concerns about patient safety at the Trust.

“These concerns progress and culminate in my publicly blowing the whistle regarding lies told by the Trust in an attempt to cover up the avoidable deaths of patients.”

But he claimed his disclosures “fell on deaf ears and when I made them public resulted in a witch-hunt” to oust him.

The Daily Mail coverage: Vindicated: Sacked whistleblower backed by the Mail wins £1.2m payout after NHS spent £10m trying to crush him after he …

BBC Coverage: Raj Mattu case: Sacked doctor gets £1.22m in damages

Nick Triggle on BBC 11th February reports: NHS ‘to get whistleblower guardians’ but Dr Raj Massu does not feel this will achieve the change in culture needed. His interview on Radio 5 may become available as a podcast and this post will be updated if it does. Dr Massu has talked to hundreds of whistle-blowers but still advises them to keep quiet – until the culture changes. NHSreality agrees and suggests complete breakdown will be needed before turnaround – because of the politicians’ denial. Whoever funds the guardians needs to put them at arms length from the political control of their pay! The Perverse Incentive to control will be too great..

Patient complaints hit a ‘wall of silence’ from NHS – No fault compensation would help change the culture…

Bullying, intimidation and reprisals. A gagged staff culture in the Health \services across the UK.

Whistleblowing in the US – helping to change the organisational culture? No comparison with state owned organisations.. Exit interviews better and less destructive..

Dame Barbara has her gong and Gary Walker does not…. It should be the other way around. Whistleblowers not valued..

Retired? Why not apply to be an NHS whistleblower guardian? But how, and who will interview and decide? The system stinks.

Whistleblowing in the NHS – The need to regulate non-clinical hospital managers

Medical trainees to get lessons in whistleblowing – How will they use their “one sting” option?



This entry was posted in A Personal View, Gagging, NHS managers, Perverse Incentives, Professionals, Rationing, Stories in the Media, Trust Board Directors on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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