It is important that no tolerance is afforded to oppressive managerial behaviour. Victimisation of staff who raise honest concerns…cannot be tolerated. There is much to do in this area before staff feel safe.
Sir Robert Francis QC. February 2014.
Chair of the Inquiry into Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust & of the Review into NHS Whistleblowing
Repeatedly we hear of unaccountable managers protecting themselves and undertaking biased investigations, character assassination, lengthy suspensions, disciplinary hearings which resemble kangaroo courts, and ultimately dismissal of staff who previously had exemplary work records
Sir Robert Francis QC. February 2015. (NHS Whistleblowing Report)
Whistleblowers do not fare well in the NHS. This is one of the major indictments of management in the NHS: that it is inwards-looking, over-defensive and prone to destroy, by a variety of means, those who suggest that the Emperor has no clothes. This is not unique to this Review. It is a blight on the NHS and is one of the principal areas where lessons must be learned
Sir Ian Kennedy, 2013. (Report into surgeon Ian Paterson, convicted of harming patients)
A culture change must also extend to NHS disciplinary procedures
Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, House of Commons. March 9, 2016
What can NHS Providers do?…..Address NHS Disciplinary Policies and Procedures
NHS Patient Safety Champion, Dr Suzette Woodward. September 19, 2016
Government has a responsibility to step up to correct injustices and tackle unfairness
Prime Minister, Theresa May. October 5, 2016
It is the job of government to correct injustice and unfairness wherever it is found
Prime Minister, Theresa May. January 8, 2017
Welcome to this website which is dedicated to creating a fairer, more open and safer UK National Health Service, and to bringing about fundamental changes in its culture. It is also dedicated to providing a scientific, evidence-based foundation to the discussion of many of the key issues involved.
When you fall ill, you will want the best treatment for yourself and your loved ones. Having that treatment depends on having an NHS that is well resourced and well run. The most important resource for the NHS is its staff – high quality staff who are dedicated and happy in their workplace.
The mid-Staffs Francis Report and the Berwick Report into the NHS dealt primarily with patient safety and patient well-being. The mirror and complement of this is staff safety and staff well-being, which is closely linked to patient care, yet there have been no reports into how NHS staff are treated. Both the Francis and the Berwick reports talked about criminal action and corporate manslaughter if patients are harmed, and similar consideration should be given if staff suffer distress or death as a result of negligence or deliberate actions by managers in the NHS or clinicians in management roles. Compassion should equally apply to NHS staff as well as to NHS patients. Compassion is not only about dealing with distress and suffering, but doing things to prevent it occurring in the future. The NHS needs to show leadership in taking actions to learn from mistakes, whether in clinical or management domains, and in applying science to help learn from such mistakes.
The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, has called for an approach that incorporates ‘a little less Stalin, and a little more Gandhi’. Current NHS policies and procedures still allow for Stalinist ‘show trials’ and ‘kangarooo courts’ in NHS disciplinary hearings to continue to take place, as they have done in the past, and such a situation cannot be tolerated in a democracy in the 21st century.
As the Bristol heart scandal and the Mid-Staffordshire hospital scandal have shown, there sadly are instances where staff feel victimised and demoralised, often as a result of a top-down management culture that is dictatorial and secretive, and which devalues excellence in patient care. Some victimised and demoralised NHS staff have ended up contemplating or committing suicide.
This website supports an NHS that treats its staff fairly and justly, that cherishes and rewards clinical excellence, that takes into account scientific evidence in its policies and procedures, that has compassion at the heart of everything it does, that actively supports staff who raise concerns about patient care, and that is much more open and transparent than at present.
This website is maintained by Dr Narinder Kapur who lost over £1 million as a result of his unfair dismissal in 2010 when he worked at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.
An ordeal similar to that of Narinder Kapur was suffered in late 2015 by the award-winning nurse Amin Abdullah who subsequently burned himself to death outside Kensington Palace, London in early 2016 after his grossly unfair dismissal when he worked at Charing Cross Hospital, London. His moving story has been put together in pictures, music and words and can be viewed here –