Thanks to you, the Court of Appeal has found that Alder Hey’s bosses committed detrimental acts, in law, by lying about the scope and findings of safety investigations into children’s surgery.
Given the wealth of categorical evidence, it’s quite extraordinary that the original tribunal judge found otherwise. I’d complained unsuccessfully to him that – despite two previous decisions overturned for appearances of bias – he twice failed in this case to make timely disclosure of his relationship with Alder Hey’s Chair, and his very close friendship with a colleague of Alder Hey’s CEO and senior surgeons.
Regrettably, the Court of Appeal has undone our win on harm, and dismissed the appeal overall, using a very dangerous ground. It’s decided that bosses’ repeated lies about my whistleblowing and me, were motivated not to target my whistleblowing or me, but to defend their reputation.
This precedent licenses cover up even, as in this case, before senior scrutiny committees of Parliament. It licenses bosses to lay claim to investigations that never happened; to lie about failures found against them; to squander public money defending those lies as “without falsehood”.
The original tribunal was mystifying in its failure to diagnose bosses’ lies. The appeal judges seem too ready to trust that unreliable tribunal in its unfair criticisms of me. It’s as if patients, families and whistleblowers are denied the judicial empathy shown to hospital bosses and their senior staff.
Consider only the quoted judicial empathy toward a senior white medic (and Trust boss), convicted in a criminal case of appalling sexual misconduct toward an underage girl. Contrast that with the judicial indifference (perhaps hostility) toward the plight of BAME whistleblowers, Mr Ahmed and myself. Judges give us little credit for doing something important and right. After all, we were the only ones that reported issues leading to the 24-item improvement plan required by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS); the only ones to report (and endure) the racist incidents found by the RCS; the only ones who spoke up, but were forced out.
Sadly, our efforts for justice have relied on judges who seem unable to empathise with our cause or seem unreliable when diagnosing bosses’ lies. These judges have repeatedly turned a blind eye to Trust operatives who altered evidence or agitated to use referral to the General Medical Council as a “chief weapon” against me.
All workers can witness wrongdoing. We all need protection to say what we see. We need to undo this alarming precedent by taking matters to the Supreme Court. And we need your support to achieve that.
Together, we have proved that Trust bosses lied. We now need to prove that defence of reputation cannot justify bosses’ lies and cover up, however important the institution might be.
After all, the recent public inquiry report found that convicted breast surgeon, Ian Paterson was able to harm so many more women because his reputation was promoted at the expense of their lives and safety. Staff spoke up but were harmed rather than supported. Now, by legitimizing harmful lies as a defence of reputation, the Court of Appeal’s judgment makes that type of whistleblower suppression more likely than less.
Bear in mind too, that the bosses involved have continued to take home big salaries and pensions – while having us pay for lawyers to defend their lies. All this when there’s scant evidence to show their bulging pay packets have any impact on safety and quality in the first place.
You can read more about the case in our Skeleton argument and compare for yourself whether the Court of Appeal Judgment deals with the points fairly or at all (I’ve included some yellow notes that expand on important points / inaccuracies).
Please do share this message and get the word out. We need to show that lying about children’s safety investigations cannot in any sense be defended as reputation management.
Thanks again for all your support.
Very best wishes,