A two year correspondence with NHS Improvement about the ET judgment from Dr Raj Mattu’s whistleblowing case

By Dr Minh Alexander NHS whistleblower and former consultant psychiatrist, 29 April 2018

Almost exactly two years ago I asked NHS Improvement what action it would take in response to the Employment Tribunal’s findings in favour of Dr Raj Mattu, in his very well-known whistleblowing case.

The question has still not been answered. NHS Improvement initially ignored my enquiry. I asked again in February of this year. Promissory notes have ensued, but there has so far been no evidence of improved practice.

Mattu was one of six whistleblowers who met with Jeremy Hunt in 2014 leading to the costly political theatre otherwise known as the Freedom To Speak Up Review, which has changed nothing for whistleblowers.

So a key case which was purportedly a spur to better NHS transparency, and which cost so much suffering to Mattu and his family, has in reality not resulted in change.

Private Eye Issue 1364 Raj Mattu and the Death of Whistleblowing

There is not a lot more to say about the authenticity of Mr Hunt’s Freedom To Speak Up project. That said, it is important to note that the Freedom To Speak Up model is an obstacle to effective whistleblowing governance because it is being used by the government as an excuse for not pursuing real whistleblowing reform.

Dr Henrietta Hughes the NHS National Guardian has set up a ‘Pan-Sector Network’ for swapping ideas.

Irregularly, the NHS National Guardian has held un-minuted meetings with the management consultancy KPMG in setting up her Pan-Sector Network, as revealed by a CQC FOI disclosure.

 

CQC FOI disclosure of 19 April 2018, Ref IAT 1718 0886, about meetings between the National Guardian and KPMG

 “Meeting with KPMG 2nd February and 22nd May 2017 

We hold no records from these meetings however we can advise you of the following: 

The purpose of these informal meetings was to discuss the NGO’s Pan-Sector Network.  

The National Guardian’s Office (NGO) believes that the NHS has much to learn from other sectors – many of whom have learnt from tragedies which could have been prevented if staff had been supported in speaking up. The NGO therefore launched a pan sector network in 2017 which will enable cross-sector discussions and learning. 

The network includes representatives from the sectors of finance, regulation, health, sports and aviation. 

The network held its first meeting in July 2017. It is anticipated that the network will meet two to three times a year. 

By working together, the NGO hopes that we can progress more efficiently to a point where all workers feel listened to and valued.”

 

 

The correspondence with NHS Improvement about Mattu’s case is provided below.

 

RELATED ITEM

FPPR: CQC has lost all moral authority, but what will the National Guardian do?
Correspondence with NHS Improvement about Raj Mattu ET Judgment

From: “GRIMES, Tom (NHS IMPROVEMENT – T1520)” <********************************>

Subject: Fwd: Re Review by NHS Improvement of governance and patient safety issues arising from the Employment Tribunal finding in Dr Raj Mattu v University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

Date: 29 March 2018 at 09:28:37 BST

To: Minh Alexander <********************************>

 

Hi Minh

The below is what I intended to send you – apologies if it didn’t get through properly first time.

 

Tom

Sent from my iPad
Begin forwarded message:

From: “GRIMES, Tom (NHS IMPROVEMENT – T1520)” <**************************>
Date: 28 March 2018 at 17:30:04 BST
To: Minh Alexander  <***************************>
Subject: FW: Re Review by NHS Improvement of governance and patient safety issues arising from the Employment Tribunal finding in Dr Raj Mattu v University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

Hi Minh

I am mindful that I haven’t come back to you on this yet, and I am now on leave until 9th April. We are still considering the matter and I will be in touch further in the next few weeks.

I am sorry for the delay.

Best wishes

Tom

 

From: GRIMES, Tom (NHS IMPROVEMENT – T1520)
Sent: 07 March 2018 17:13
To: ‘Minh Alexander’
Cc: WORRALL, Jeff (NHS IMPROVEMENT – T1520); Steve Barclay ********************; DALTON, Ian (NHS IMPROVEMENT – T1520); HARDING, Dido (NHS IMPROVEMENT – T1520)
Subject: RE: Re Review by NHS Improvement of governance and patient safety issues arising from the Employment Tribunal finding in Dr Raj Mattu v University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

 

Dear Minh

Thanks for your email, and sorry you have had to chase.

As I’m sure you know, this is a lengthy employment tribunal judgement and we are considering it carefully. The references to David Loughton relate to events that are 15-20 years old and so do not raise current governance concerns for us regarding University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. However, I realise that he is currently Chief Executive at Wolverhampton and we are looking at whether it raises issues there.

I am sorry this is taking a little while, but we are taking it very seriously and I hope to be in contact further in the next few weeks.

Best wishes

Tom

Tom Grimes

Head of Enquiries, Complaints and Whistleblowing

NHS Improvement

Direct Line ***********************| www.improvement.nhs.uk
Wellington House, 133-155 Waterloo Road. London SE1 8UG

 

From: Minh Alexander [mailto: ********************* ]
Sent: 05 March 2018 13:40
To: GRIMES, Tom (NHS IMPROVEMENT – T1520)
Cc: WORRALL, Jeff (NHS IMPROVEMENT – T1520); Steve Barclay ******************; DALTON, Ian (NHS IMPROVEMENT – T1520); HARDING, Dido (NHS IMPROVEMENT – T1520)
Subject: Re Review by NHS Improvement of governance and patient safety issues arising from the Employment Tribunal finding in Dr Raj Mattu v University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

Thanks Tom,

I wonder if it is possible to know when NHS Improvement will be in a position to reply?

BW

Minh

 

From: “GRIMES, Tom (NHS IMPROVEMENT – T1520)” <********************>

Subject: FW: Re Review by NHS Improvement of governance and patient safety issues arising from the Employment Tribunal finding in Dr Raj Mattu v University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

Date: 15 February 2018 at 16:32:05 GMT

To: Minh Alexander  <*********************>

Hi Minh

I just wanted to acknowledge this and say that we aim to be in contact with a response next week.

BW

Tom

From: Minh Alexander <*******************>
Date: 12 February 2018 at 08:49:55 GMT-7
To: Jeff Worrall *****************
Cc: Steve Barclay<**********************>, Ian Dalton <******************>, Dido Harding <********************>
Subject: Re Review by NHS Improvement of governance and patient safety issues arising from the Employment Tribunal finding in Dr Raj Mattu v University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

Dear Mr Worrall,

Further to Bill Kirkup’s conclusions about avoidable harm to patients at Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust due to poor leadership of the trust, and the Minister of State’s announcement of a review of governance of the Fit and Proper Test in the NHS, I wonder if I could possibly have a response to my letter to you of 12 May 2016, copied below.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Minh Alexander

cc Steven Barclay Minister of State

Dido Harding Chair NHS Improvement

Ian Dalton CEO NHS Improvement

 

From: Minh Alexander <*********************>

Subject: Re Review by NHS Improvement of governance and patient safety issues arising from the Employment Tribunal finding in Dr Raj Mattu v University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

Date: 12 May 2016 at 15:33:31 BST

To: Jeff Worrall ********************* Cc: Hines Andrew <*******************>, Health Committee <****************>, Sarah Wollaston *******************, Philippa Whitford *******************, Emily Thornberry *******************, Maggie Throup ********************, Liz McInnes ********************, Andrew Percy ******************, James Davies ******************, Andrea Jenkyns  *********************, Paula Sherriff ********************, Ben Bradshaw *********************, Julie Cooper ********************, Robert Francis *******************, “CE England (NHS ENGLAND)” <******************>, ****************************** <******************** >

 

Mr Jeffrey Worrall Portfolio Director for Midlands & East 12 May 2016

Dear Mr Worrall,

Re Review by NHS Improvement of governance and patient safety issues arising from the Employment Tribunal finding in Dr Raj Mattu v University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

After Monitor launched an investigation last year into Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as a result of an serious ET finding against that trust (sexual harassment and cover up of wrongdoing http://www.cloisters.com/images/Marks_-_judgment.pdf ) I asked NHS TDA to review the governance and safety issues arising from the ET judgment against Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, and it kindly did so.

I also asked if NHS TDA would review the implications of the 2014 ET judgment against University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) in favour of Dr Raj Mattu. I was advised by your colleague Mr Andrew Hines that you were the appropriate contact for this matter. I hope that this is still correct, following the establishment of NHS Improvement to replace NHS TDA, but please advise me if it is not.

Now that a very critical Verita report has been published today about the handling of  whistleblowing concerns by Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, where Mr David Loughton has been Chief Executive since leaving UHCW, I would be grateful if NHS Improvement could advise whether it will review Dr Raj Mattu’s case and the governance and patient safety issues arising from the ET judgment against UHCW.

I ask NHS Improvement to note the well-known fact that numerous vexatious allegations were made to GMC against Dr Mattu, and that allegations were also made to the GMC in the more recent case of another whistleblower, Prof David Ferry, at Royal Wolverhampton. Prof Ferry was cleared by the GMC only a few months ago: http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2016/01/18/cleared-after-four-year-fight-victory-for-nhs-whistle-blower/

Dr Mattu’s case is very well known, but I  ask NHS Improvement to note a detail that was reported by Private Eye in its 2011 special on NHS whistleblowing:

“Mattu’s representative, Stephen Campion, was called to an off-the-record meeting with Loughton at a local hotel. At that meeting, Campion claims Loughton said: ‘I’m not interested in giving Dr Mattu a parking ticket, I want him off the road.” Two months later, Mattu was suspended on an allegation of bullying. He remained suspended for six years. “

http://drphilhammond.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Shoot_the_Mesenger_FINAL.pdf

I hope to hear from you.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Minh Alexander

Cc Health Committee

Simon Stevens CEO NHS England

Sir Robert Francis QC

Jim Mackey CEO NHS Improvement

Andrew Hines NHS Improvement

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2 thoughts on “A two year correspondence with NHS Improvement about the ET judgment from Dr Raj Mattu’s whistleblowing case

  1. As a thought leader, specialising in pan-sector networking, I note even more money is being taken out of NHS frontline services and handed to the private sector so that they can continue the task of delaying, obscuring and defeating anything that could benefit patients.

    Thank you Dr. A.

    Kindest,
    Z

    Like

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