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.”
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.
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.
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..