See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil
01 Aug 2007 - JG
As hospitals wake up to the change over of 30,000 young doctors today, one hospital in particular will be welcoming back a Raj Mattu after five years. The significance of this? Well Mr Mattu has been serving a five year suspension from Walesgrave Hospital in Coventry for being a whistle blower. He did the outrageous act of exposing the scandal of overcrowding on his heart attack recovery ward - which he believed led to cause of 11 deaths because they could not be reached in an emergency by resuscitation teams. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil - the apparent motto of Walesgrave Hospital.
Mr Mattu has been welcomed back after five long years despite going to the High Courst and having an independent inquiry that recommended he go back to work two years ago! The hospital refused to accept the ruling. The Department of Health has said suspensions of consultants should not last longer than six months and should normally be reserved for allegations relating to a doctor's clinical competence. Yet this hospital held out for five years and related in no way part to the doctor's clinical competence; rather the hospital's clinical competence was called in question.
The cost of all this nonsense is £5m to the NHS (aka the taxpayer). Five Million pounds made up of paying his salary while suspended, the cost of filling his position, and legal bills for the case and an independent inquiry. Did you think it ever occurred to the Walesgrave Hospital big wigs that the £5m could have been better spent tackling over crowding in their heart attack recovery ward - saving the odd life in the process rather than sweeping the issue under the carpet and punishing those who speak out? Probably not.