Blame is like tax: imposed on some, avoided by others.
The BMA has successfully sued me for £200K plus the same in costs, for reporting unaddressed safety concerns to Dr Phil Hammond of Private Eye.
It’s picked on the fact that I didn’t dare out myself as a potential source when first challenged, and its lawyers have turned this into a breach of contract and misrepresentation.
Doing this, the BMA’s shown again how the NHS blame culture works, and for BME doctors in particular. It’s argued that the context in which I acted to raise concerns, and the concerns themselves are irrelevant. So the fact that I had a well founded fear of reprisal when reporting misconduct by powerful BMA members at Alder Hey – that’s irrelevant. The fact that I’d done the right thing, and escalated my concerns to regulators that failed to act – that’s irrelevant. The fact that children have been seriously harmed and even Parliament has been deliberately misled on this – that’s also irrelevant. The blame is all mine – for sticking by my concerns – and escalating them to Dr Phil Hammond.
At the same time, it’s a different story for those non-BME doctors on whom I blew the whistle. For some, their negligence has been quietly paid off by the NHS, protecting their merit awards and their identity. For another, his surreptitious alteration of GMC evidence – and falsehoods about this when caught – has been judiciously suppressed. For two, their failure to disclose their claims against Mr Ahmed’s mental health, to internal investigations or his employment tribunal, has been gently shelved [the Trust admitted on oath it’s never even investigated their conduct in this]. And what of the BMA, when its members came to oppose each other at Alder Hey? My own senior BMA representative anxiously contacted my lawyers seeking to assuage concerns pre-trial – but on behalf of my non-BME opponents, rather than seeking to press any advantage for me.
The BMA say it sued me for its funds. That’s untrue – it’s known all along I can’t pay. It’s embarrassed about its business model being exposed. It’s been shown up for arranging pay offs, brokering those deals from both sides of the negotiation; and cementing them with gagging that publicly it denies, but privately its own lawyer admits is “common” – even in whistleblowing cases.
So like the GMC in Bawa-Garba, the BMA has heaped all the blame on me, studiously ignoring the rich context of institutional wrongdoing and regulatory failure.
Dr Ed Jesudason
My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry your honourable action on behalf of patients have brought such a long endured cloud over you and your family’s lives. This judgement, awarding the BMA, must be numbing.
Take some comfort in the knowledge that so many recognise the injustice you have been served. You have shown great courage and fortitude in making a stand. Your voice has led to greater awareness of the inadequacy in legally supporting and protecting whistleblowers. Thus the fight for change strengthens.
As a member of public I thank you for putting patient safety first when facing the almost certain consequence : reprisal. It was a very noble, selfless act which I am sure has and will save lives.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I have been talking to other whistleblowers in the UK. Shockingly this is a story which is similar to what I have heard before. In my contacts it disproportionately affect BME doctors. It is an abusive system.
I am a doctor, director of governance at a large GP surgery, doing a photographic degree. I am looking at images of whistleblowers and how they are represented; some of my research is at Morris-Gallagher.format.com. I would be interested in meeting you. I can contact me via my website or by following me on Twitter and I can PM you – MGDoc@morrisgabc
LikeLiked by 1 person
I am confused. Are you saying the BMA (doctors’ trade union) is going around suing doctors for raising safety concerns?
It is disgraceful Ed and the Bma cannot call itself an organisation that represents whistleblowers. As you explain the doctors against whom you whistle blew being white? Being perceived as more powerful had the Bma supporting them. If the Bma had properly supported your WB case then you would have had no need to go public. This is the irony. You were trying to prevent the patient safety issues being suppressed. After all isn’t that what whistleblowing is supposedly about?
LikeLiked by 1 person