Holding NHS leaders to account for safety

by Edwin Jesudason

Holding NHS leaders to account for safety

by Edwin Jesudason
Edwin Jesudason
I'm a NHS whistleblower. I want to improve the legal protections for doctors who face victimisation if they speak up about unsafe care, or prosecution if they try to soldier on despite it.
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Edwin Jesudason
I'm a NHS whistleblower. I want to improve the legal protections for doctors who face victimisation if they speak up about unsafe care, or prosecution if they try to soldier on despite it.
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My name is Dr Edwin Jesudason. I blew the whistle on avoidable deaths and the victimisation of a fellow whistleblower at Alder Hey Children's Hospital. The hospital sought to deflect from the concerns and discredit me by claiming falsely that all concerns were investigated and baseless. To do this, they have hidden a number of adverse reports.


We’re looking for your support to appeal a recent decision in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. It raises a critical question for the NHS: should the managers behind unsafe systems float above the law, but doctors get smashed in court whether they speak up for patient safety or soldier on under unsafe conditions? Please contribute now and share this page on social media.


The importance of my appeal for the medical profession and for patient safety is explained in these two speeches in 2018 in Brighton and in 2014 in Harrogate. They explain how the NHS can turn patient harm into pay-offs rather than reform. It gives details of the money offers made to me, and the failure of the courts to get to grips with the safety issues.





My Case

I chose to speak up about an unsafe system; one that led to the deaths of Caitlyn Parry and others. In a separate case, Dr Bawa Garba took the other choice. She soldiered on in an unsafe system, but it was her and not her managers who faced police investigation and conviction for the manslaughter of Jack Adcock.


When it’s unsafe to soldier on, doctors need to be able to speak out. When managers untruthfully deny and deflect, doctors need to be able to speak out to the press as a last resort. 


The inquiries into Gosport War Memorial Hospital and into the Hyponatraemia deaths both highlighted the vital role of the press in bringing forward issues that NHS managers wanted to ignore. We now need the courts to recognise this – and start protecting whistleblowing doctors – by having the courage to hold their managers accountable.

Until this happens, NHS managers will remain free to turn patient harm into pay-offs, rather than learning – as described in the two speeches above.


Legal background

After reporting concerns, I sought protection from the Employment Tribunal (ET), asking it to hold the hospital to account, and protect me for going to the press as a last resort. Without seeing the adverse safety reports in full, the ET concluded the hospital was defending its reputation, not victimising me. This is despite the fact that one surgeon at the hospital altered evidence against me, admitting on oath that he wanted to "up the ante"; another sought to use referral to the General Medical Council (GMC) as a "weapon" against me.

In April, I appealed the ET decision at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). The EAT agreed the ET had gone wrong on a series of key points. However, it decided these errors wouldn't change the original decision. For example, the EAT found (1) the hospital had altered evidence and sought to "up the ante" against me, (2) the ET had not dealt with this issue. But the EAT decided this must have been OK because otherwise the ET would have mentioned it.

So I'm now seeking to challenge the original ET decision at the Court of Appeal (CoA). A number of doctors, like Dr Chris Day, have found the CoA is more able to name misconduct by powerful institutions like Alder Hey.

At the moment, doctors are damned whether they speak out about unsafe care, or soldier on in the face of it. I took the first choice, only to be victimised for speaking up. Dr Bawa Garba took the second choice, only to be prosecuted for manslaughter. 

It's time for change, by making NHS leaders accountable for the safety of the systems they manage on our behalf.

Thank you so much for your support with this campaign, and please do share this page with friends and family.

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