“NHS whistle-blower told she was ‘too honest’ to work for the health service” [Daily Telegraph 3rd April 2016]
Unbelievably, NHS whistle-blower, Maha Yassaie, chief pharmacist at the now defunct Berkshire West Primary Care Trust, who raised concerns about patient safety, was told she was too honest to work for the organisation! According to a transcript of the conversation, the investigator, Kevin Cheatle allegedly told Maha during a meeting:
“If I had your values I would find it very difficult to work in the NHS.”
An ardent campaigner for improvement, NHS Manager Jade Taylor attended a meeting with a group of Southern Health’s bereaved families, carers and rebel governors on 17 May 2016 – a meeting commonly known as ‘The Shambles‘ in Lyndhurst: read more→
Jade is acutely aware of safety issues after both her late mother and late stepfather suffered whilst receiving ‘care’ at the now defunct Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. Her stepfather died after contracting an infection following surgery. Then in 2008, her mother, who suffered Alzheimer’s disease was allegedly discharged inappropriately on her own from Stafford Hospital, which caused considerable distress to the family.
Jade left ‘The Shambles’ in tears on realising that nothing had changed since the tragic events at Mid Staffs, exposed by The Francis Report in 2013. Since then she has given generous moral support and assistance to Southern Health campaigners.
Now, having spoken up on behalf of patients in her role at Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and having been off sick for about a year due to stress and a mild heart condition, Jade faces the prospect of being dismissed herself.
Over the last three years, Jade has raised, “A plethora of concerns” about a number of issues, including unsafe staffing levels, bullying from senior managers and an, “Unsafe referral pathway.” She told CRASH:
“Because of these experiences – whistle-blowing was a real issue in Stafford – I’m not going to give up raising concerns. My late Mum and Stepdad were in the Mid Staffs disaster, which has had its own impact. Now I have raised concerns, which haven’t always been handled well, at the process to support me through it has not been helpful at all.”
And despite her ill-health, Jade, who has worked for the Berkshire Trust for five years, says that she had not received an occupational health assessment, despite being off work for more than a year.
When asked why the Trust is dismissing her, Jade said:
“They are saying that I have lost trust and confidence in them. I am not resigning and I want to work at the Trust. I haven’t lost confidence in them: I just want them to deal with investigations properly.”
Jade has previously met The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt to discuss the way whistle-blowers are treated in the health services and gave evidence to Sir Robert Francis’s Freedom to Speak Review. She summarises her case:
“This is another case of reprisals against whistle-blowers really.”
Naturally, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust refused to respond to press enquiries because, “We respect her [Jade’s] right to confidentiality.” What about respecting her honesty and integrity too?
And reverting to honesty and the investigator, Kevin Cheatle, who told Maha Yassaie that her values made it very difficult to work in the NHS, those familiar with solicitors and consultants used regularly by the NHS will recognise his employers – the NHS’s
friends solicitors, Capsticks.
So Jade has now lost her parents, probably her job and possibly her home thanks to the NHS.
Come on Mr Hunt, the NHS is short of nurses and recruits overseas – yet you allow it to throw conscientious whistle-blowers like Jade, Maha and others on the scrapheap for the ‘sin’ of reporting safety concerns and trying to make a difference.
Message to Southern Health: if Jade is dismissed from her position at the Berkshire Trust (news expected this week), why not offer her a job. This would be really compelling evidence of your intention to reform.
And a special thank you to SWNS for providing the images of Jade on this page to CRASH on a complimentary basis.
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