An old joke

basket blur boy child
Which would you like first; good news or bad?

Dear Readers

Thank you for your kind support and your patience. In the style of a laboured medical joke, I have good news and bad.

First, the good news: I’ve recently passed the final assessment that’s required to seek registration as a specialist in Rehabilitation Medicine. It’s a discipline devoted to working alongside people with disability – so each case is unique to the person and their context. Its ethos is seen in some of the writings by Dr Oliver Sacks. The clinical practice relies on teamwork, so I’d like to thank my colleagues for their feedback. I’d also like to thank my family for its support. It’s been crucial in my achieving this goal – and withstanding the pressures of the whistleblowing cases against Alder Hey and the British Medical Association.

Now, the bad news: we’ve finally heard that the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) rejected all our points, despite accepting the original Employment Tribunal (ET) made a number of errors. It’s a disappointing decision. We’re considering an appeal so I won’t go into detail just yet. Briefly, the decision refuses to (a) protect me for taking concerns to the media as a last resort; (b) condemn the fact that Alder Hey falsely denied deaths and withheld evidence from investigations and legal challenges; (c) contrast the way Alder Hey treated me after reporting problems, and the way the hospital has shielded other surgeons. Two have sought to misuse the General Medical Council (GMC) as a weapon against me or the journalist, Dr Phil Hammond. One has altered evidence to the GMC and other investigations, then given serial false accounts when caught.

On these politically sensitive issues (e.g. Alder Hey misleading Parliament about the death of Caitlyn Parry; its shielding of a prominent surgeon who altered evidence to the GMC), the EAT props up the ET decision instead of scrutinizing it. Regrettably, the Alder Hey case fits a pattern illustrated by the words of one of the many relatives at Gosport hospital. They too have been disbelieved and discredited – as they campaigned against a series of inadequate investigations into their family members’ untimely deaths. Bridget Reeves explains how the law failed the Gosport families at its highest levels (the Attorney General):

Bridget Reeves: It is very, very difficult because you have to stay so strong. We’re not talking about an argument with just a lay person. You’re talking about fighting the Government. I mean going to the point..I mean how many letters we’ve even written to the Attorney General. You’re taking about standing up at an inquest with no legal representation and trying to make sure that justice is done by your relative. And you’re not just being closed down by somebody on the street. These are the people you’ve gone to and you’ve trusted in to give you your answers and they’ve let you down. And not only have they let you down but they have manipulated evidence and they have chosen not to be honest. This is about hundreds of elderly people whose lives were shortened through the absolute abuse of medication and they died in the most horrific of circumstances – overdosed – some of them in front of their relatives.

This dangerous culture still thrives across parts of the National Health Service (NHS). The Gosport Inquiry reported how, even now, it has been obstructed by the medical profession. In contrast, the inquiry reported how whistleblowers and the press got to the safety issues long before the legal authorities. Please fund this campaign to have the law properly protect NHS whistleblowers who go to the press as a last resort.

Very best wishes

Dr Ed Jesudason

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s