The duty of candour shows no sign of overriding the culture of fear and bullying. This is the culture which is turning young doctors to go abroad, have career breaks and feel lonely and unsupported in training. Continuity of care used to give great learning opportunities, but the team has gone. A letter in The Times puts it well:
Sir, My son Oscar was a junior doctor in Nottingham, now he is a resident doctor in a hospital in New York. The contrasts are illuminating: he is paid no more in the US than he was in the UK, although his working hours are 50 per cent longer. Last weekend he worked both nights for no extra pay.
He would say that there are two main differences that make the US experience superior. The first is teaching: 14 hours a week in the classroom as opposed to two in Nottingham. The second is how he is valued. Speak to any UK junior doctor and they will complain that they are treated with disdain. In New York, Oscar is an integral member of a highly motivated team.
Lord Mitchell House of Lords
Charlie Copper in The Independent6th March 2016 reports: NHS complaints watchdog deputy quits over sexual harassment cover-up – Mick Martin assisted the chair of a Derbyshire NHS trust in covering up his conduct towards an HR director
The deputy chief of the NHS complaints watchdog has resigned over his involvement in covering up the sexual harassment of a director at an NHS trust.
Mick Martin, the deputy Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), had already taken a leave of absence after being criticised by an employment tribunal, which led to an £832,711 compensation payment earlier this year.
The board of the PHSO has also launched an investigation into the organisation’s decision to appoint Mr Martin, and the actions taken by the ombudsman herself, Dame Julie Mellor, in relation to him.
It is the latest blow for the troubled complaints watchdog, which in the past two years has been criticised by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt over its handling of the case of a three-year-old who died in NHS care, by the National Audit Office over its governance, and by the Health Select Committee over its performance in assisting patients with their complaints.
In a recent survey only 11 per cent of staff at the PHSO said they had confidence in the leadership, and Dame Julie has faced a call to resign from the editor of the respected Health Service Journal.
An employment tribunal last year heard how, when vice chair of the Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, Mr Martin “assisted” the chair of the trust, Alan Baines, in covering up his conduct relating to HR director Helen Marks.
The tribunal heard how Ms Marks was called a “whore” by Mr Baines after she refused his romantic advances. She was later suspended after she expressed “discomfort” about their relationship.
Mr Martin employed a former colleague to carry out what was described as a “woefully inadequate” investigation into the matter.
The tribunal ruled Ms Marks had been unfairly dismissed in 2013. She was awarded £832,711 earlier this year.
The PHSO board said they had appointed Sir Alex Allan, the former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, to lead an independent review of the organisation’s actions in relation to Mr Martin.
A spokesperson for the PHSO office said: “Mr Martin has decided to resign from his position, recognising the impact recent events have had on the organisation, in particular its staff, and its ability to focus on providing a high quality service for people who need our service.
“We are conducting a separate independent review looking at the actions we took and the procedures we followed as an organisation. We will be open and honest about the findings from this and will implement any lessons learnt from that review.”
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