May 24, 2013

East Surrey Hospital NHS Trust - NHS Consultants conducting private clinics/treatment in NHS time and altering their lists to suit their private practice(s) – an update

On 7th May 2013 we posted a “Jig Saw” entry in relation to alleged practices at East Surrey NHS Trust.  On 23rd May 2013, through his PA, we heard from the Chief Executive, Michael Wilson, who asked us to post his response to the allegations.  We are happy to do so.

Mr Wilson stated, “We take these allegations very seriously and encourage anyone with any information that supports these allegations to report it to the Chief Executive at  or 01737 231817, or report it anonymously via the national whistle blowing hotline on 08000724725” (we would urge you to ignore the advice – see below) 

Sadly, Mr Wilson did not tell us what he had done to investigate the allegation and his response may have been an attempt to identify the whistle blowers.  We replied to him as follows:-

“Thank you for the email.  We do not offer an on-line response facility but nevertheless, would welcome an email response from the Trust, explaining how many times the Chief Executive has been made aware of these allegations (of course, we could do this by way of a FOI application).  We would also like to hear the reasons for each and every cancelled list, since 1st January 2012 (once again, this could be the subject of an FOI application).

Most importantly, we would like you to inform us if the Trust has investigated the allegations in relation to the consultants’ attendance at their respective clinics.  If the Trust has completed an investigation, we would like to know when the investigations took place, the “mechanics” of the investigation; the form the investigation(s) took and what the Trust did to either prove or disprove the allegations?  Yet again, this could be the subject of an FOI application.

According to our most recent information, the Trust has not bothered to act, either on the information supplied to the Chief Executive, on on the information contained on our “Jig Saw” page.

We deal with hundreds of NHS whistle blowing events and have reached the conclusion a climate of fear exists throughout the organisation.  More prosaically, the evidence at our disposal suggests complaints are invariably covered up and retributive action is often taken against the whistle blowers. Our advice to all potential NHS whistle blowers is to take the complaint to an outside organisation (we have under-lined the last sentence for the purpose of this entry).

I look forward to hearing from you.”

We await a detailed response from Michael Wilson.  We will up-date this particular “Jig Saw” entry, should Mr Wilson be gracious enough to reply to our questions.  If he doesn’t reply, we will pursue the matter through Freedom of Information applications.  The time has arrived for absolute tranpasrency within the NHS and if you are reading this, Mr Wilson, we would urge you to take the complaint seriously – we haven’t yet disclosed all we know.

If you are a potential NHS whistle blower we would urge you to contact us – do not post your grievance or blow the whistle within the organisation.  Our experience indicates it will fall on deaf ears and further down the line, retributive action may be taken against you.  In the first instance contact us for advice.


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