Friday, April 18, 2014

Dr Mattu (hero) vs. NHS (bully)

In India when a small fry dares to raise his voice against the big fish then it is customary for the Davids  to file a number of false cases. The poor guy will never see life outside prison again.  

It is shocking to see that the West has developed a taste for this foul play (or perhaps we only learned it from them?) and it is a relief to know that the still robust UK justice system was able to rescue an Indian whistle-blower from the depths of (job-less) hell.

The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK is highly reliant on doctors and nurses from South Asia (and the other ex-colonies), this case shows how brown folks now possess the requisite confidence to rise against an unjust system (but also sometimes to commit injustices as well). 

Ultimately however the ruling(s) taken all together (see below) seem to us to be a royal mess. The hospital trust was not responsible for over-crowding. However the whistle-blower was credited for bringing media publicity to the overcrowding problem. So did the patients die from negligence or not? It seems no one is interested in probing that question. Case dismissed for good (not good).

An Indian-origin heart surgeon in the UK was unfairly sacked after he raised concerns about patient safety, an employment tribunal has ruled.

Dr Raj Mattu was dismissed by University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust in 2010. In 2001, he had exposed the cases of two patients who had died in crowded bays at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry. 54-year-old Mattu said he was "absolutely relieved" at the ruling. The trust said it was disappointed and would examine the ruling for grounds to appeal. 

Mattu was first suspended over allegations that he bullied a junior doctor. He was allowed to return to work but only after re-training — which he never completed. In 2009, General Medical Council cleared Mattu of the bullying allegations, yet he was sacked by the hospital trust.

Employment judge Pauline Hughes ruled the consultant "did not cause or contribute to his dismissal" and had been subjected to "many detriments" by the trust for being a whistleblower. His allegations had been "serious" and "attracted a great deal of media coverage and public interest", she said. She also ruled that the surgeon had been treated "unfavorably" by the trust as a result of a disability. 
But she dismissed Mattu's claims of racial discrimination.

During the tribunal, Mattu said his concerns about overcrowding in wards had been ignored. He claimed a policy of allocating five patients to four-bed bays in 1999 had prevented vital equipment being used to save the life of a 35-year-old man. The specialist decided to "go public" in September 2001, after a hospital manager appeared in TV news reports insisting that lives had not been lost because of overcrowding.
An NHS review in 2004 cleared the hospital trust of responsibility for any deaths in relation to overcrowding.

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