Too honest to work in the NHS?

“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.”

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Now another hugely courageous  whistle-blower – Jade Taylor – went on hunger strike outside The Department of Health last week.

© SWNS

 

 

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.

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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.

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So Jade has now lost her parents, probably her job and possibly her home thanks to the NHS.

 

© SWNS

 

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.  

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And a special thank you to SWNS for providing the images of Jade on this page to CRASH on a complimentary basis.

 

 

 

SWNS is the biggest independent news wire in the UK – providing news, pictures, PR and features to media organisations around the world. They  specialise in news, real-life human interest features, photography, video, syndication , PR and market research, employing more than 100 editorial staff across offices in London, Plymouth, Cambridge, Birmingham, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Yorkshire.

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6 thoughts on “Too honest to work in the NHS?

  1. Those of us who have met Jade know what an inspirational person she is. She has incredible empathy and the ability to analyse a situation quickly to get to the heart of the matter. She has amazing communication skills and always conducts herself with great dignity. It is unjust that such an altruistic person who has done nothing but put her patients first should be so punitively treated by the NHS. Sadly Jade knows that her suffering is shared by many other conscientious clinicians in the NHS. It is time that we ,the public ,who own the NHS, stand up and say “Not in our name” to support Jade. Thank you Jade for what you have taken on your shoulders on our behalf.

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  2. She’s a brave lady, it should not be like this.
    From a legal perspective she should get an HR Barrister to seek damages for wrongful dismissal at an employment tribunal.
    She could get crowd source funding to kick it off.

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  3. All credit to Jade for tirelessly working at huge personal cost to raise awareness of what is really going on within the NHS. Unless those with the authority to make changes to policy, procedures and working practices are prepared to listen and to acknowledge that there is always room to improve then we all potentially stand to lose out. The goal of everyone involved must be to improve the quality and safety of care provided and ensure those that need it can access it.
    It is worth comparing the actions of Jade and the new National Guardian Dr Henrietta Hughes. Whilst still early days for Dr Hughes she could do far worse than to listen and take note of Jade and others in similar positions and engage with them in a positive and constructive way. This would do far more for her public image and credibility than drawing inspiration from romantic comedy movies.

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  4. If the regulators did their job properly there would be no need for whistleblowers. If management listened and heard staff there would be no need for whistleblowers. As they don’t, thank heavens for Jade, Maha and others prepared to risk everything. It shouldn’t have to be this way.

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  5. The powers that be ought to hang their heads in shame! But then, I am human, I am not sure what they are, because they have no heart, even if they supposedly work in an environment where caring is at the heart of all they are meant to deliver.

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  6. Pingback: Don’t spit in the soup! | Campaign for Reform At Southern Health

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