Knocking on Heaven’s Door? Hunting for Redress.

 


 “It’s getting dark, too dark to see,

Feel I’m Knocking on Heaven’s Door”


To Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP Secretary of State for Health House of Commons London SW1A 0AA

Dear Mr Hunt,

An apology and practical redress

Following the example of Mr Gary Walker, I write to ask you for “an apology and practical redress”.


I refer you to the Complaints and Raising Concerns Report – Fourth Report, by the Health Select Committee, Published 24 January 2015[1]: Recommendation at paragraph 115 “We expect the NHS to respond in a timely, honest and open manner to patients, and we must expect the same for staff. We recommend that there should be a programme to identify whistleblowers who have suffered serious harm and whose actions are proven to have been vindicated, and provide them with an apology and practical redress.”


The above suggests that you will be looking for three requirements:

• A whistleblower

• Who has suffered serious harm

• That whistleblower is vindicated

I propose the following definitions:

• To be a “whistleblower” you need only raise concerns qualifying for protection under Section 43 of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. There is no legal requirement for a finding in a tribunal merely the existence of the qualifying disclosure.

• To have suffered “serious harm” Resignation on declared principles with resultant loss of income, pension, career, status, and employment prospects should qualify.

• To be “vindicated” should require a finding either from a tribunal or court judgement or the finding of subsequent inquiries, CQC investigations, or police investigations.

• Did I disclose concerns qualifying for protection under Section 43 of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998?

Yes. I made 2 qualifying* disclosures, concerning serious risks to the lives of patients, which were both ignored and not investigated. These failures were admitted by the Trust in two separate Formal Grievance Hearings.


*Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. Protected disclosures. Disclosures qualifying for protection:
(1)In this Part a “qualifying disclosure” means any disclosure of information which, in the reasonable belief of the worker making the disclosure, tends to show one or more of the following—
(a)that a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed,
(b)that a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation to which he is subject,
(d)that the health or safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered,
(f)that information tending to show any matter falling within any one of the preceding paragraphs has been, is being or is likely to be deliberately concealed.

• Did I suffer “serious harm” with resultant loss of income, pension, career, status, and employment prospects?

Yes. Morecambe Bay Trust failed to initiate investigations upon my first reporting of concerns and also after admitting those failures at Grievance Hearings. They admitted causing me a stress injury incurred as a result of these and other failures. They failed to demonstrate to me that my upheld Grievances had brought about investigation of my concerns or any improvement in the handling of staff concerns. I will not take any part in a conspiracy to convince patients that they are being cared for while management fail to prioritise safety.


“Take this damned badge off o’me,

I can’t use it anymore.”


Consequently, on that principle, I was obliged to resign my position as Staff Nurse with University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust in 2009, with the expressed intention of having Employment Tribunal examine the failings of management at Royal Lancaster Infirmary to protect the safety of patients. Under the duress of having been cut off financially, while remaining incapable of work due to the stress injury caused to me, I was coerced to give the Trust time to look for alternative employment for me, although they failed to offer anything acceptable. After spending £9000 on legal fees, I was advised that by conceding to that delay, I had been tricked into “continuing my employment”, in legal terms. I could not then complain to Tribunal about the admitted breaches, because I could be deemed to have accepted those breaches by ‘continuing my employment’ in that way. I was obliged to enter into a Compromise Agreement with a “Gagging Clause”. I was made the subject of further harassment when my applications for Renewal of Nurse Registration were twice “lost” and not submitted by Trust managers resulting in my NMC Nurse Registration being lapsed. Consequently, I have lost income, pension, career, status, and employment prospects.

• Was I vindicated by the findings of subsequent inquiries and/or police investigations?

Yes. The Trust admitted failing to investigate my concerns (among other failures) and causing injury to me in two upheld Formal Grievance Reports. The consequences for patient safety by my being silenced can only be guessed at, but neglect of safety at Trust hospitals has since become a matter of public disgrace.

  • By 2011 Morecambe Bay Trust had the highest mortality rate in the country.

  • The Morecambe Bay Investigation into the deaths of mothers and babies declared “Today, the name of Morecambe Bay has been added to a roll of dishonoured NHS names that stretches from Ely Hospital to Mid Staffordshire.”

  • The Trust, now in “Special Measures”, remains the subject of ongoing Police investigation.

  • You yourself found reason to tell The House, “The Royal Lancaster Infirmary is not the main focus of the Kirkup report, but of course as part of the same Trust it suffered from the same management failings. There are Members of this House who have had problems at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and found that they were not listened to when they made complaints, because proper management was not in place.”


Sir Robert Francis, in his Freedom to Speak Up review published on 11 February 2015, recommended “principle 12″ in which he said: Action 12.1 NHS England, the NHS Trust Development Authority and Monitor should jointly devise and establish a support scheme for NHS workers and former NHS workers whose performance is sound and who can demonstrate that they are having difficulty finding employment in the NHS as result of having made protected disclosures. Action 12.2 All NHS organisations should actively support a scheme to help current and former NHS workers whose performance is sound to find alternative employment in the NHS.

Will you now provide an apology and practical redress to me? Will you now ensure that all whistleblowers will get an apology and practical redress? I await your response and would be delighted to meet with you to discuss this.

Yours sincerely,

Russell Dunkeld

[1] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmhealth/350/35002.htm

With thanks to Gary Walker ex-CEO United Lincolnshire NHS Trust.

beggar “Spare a bit o’ Practical Redress for a whistleblower, Guvnor?”

07/11/2017 I have never received a reply or acknowledgement from Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt.

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MY Morecambe Bay Investigation

The Report of MY OWN

Morecambe Bay Investigation

The chilling prospect of a statistical nightmare looms out of the fog!

“ICEBERG! DEAD AHEAD!”

Culture Change

at

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust?

Deaths at Morecambe Bay TrustDelay, Defend, Deny

• I reported a nurse who admitted switching off prescribed fluid infusions, preventing administration to poorly dependent patients. • The report was unacknowledged, unactioned, date-stamped and filed.

• I reported wages fraud. • The Trust decided that “although it did appear to be fraudulent, the amount was not worth pursuing”.

• I reported an improper procedure carried out on a patient which caused injury and life was put at risk. • The report was unacknowledged and not investigated.

• I had two Formal Grievances upheld. • The Trust used trickery and lies to avoid Employment Tribunal penalties.

• I submitted applications for Renewal of my Nurse Registration. • The Trust “lost” my applications…TWICE…I lost my Registration.

• The Trust admitted causing me a work-related stress injury.

• The Trust cancelled my Temporary Injury Allowance without applying for Permanent Injury Benefit.

  • The Trust made insinuations about my mental health, despite having already admitted responsibility for my condition.

  • They insisted that I attend Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, then presented the transcript of my confidential CBT sessions to Employment Tribunal as evidence.

• I requested ill-health retirement on resignation. • The Trust assured me that my pension was being set up on ill-health grounds but failed to do so.

• The Trust eventually (9 years late) agreed that they ought to investigate one concern…but were unable as one involved was seriously ill ‘on her death-bed’. • 9 months later, that same nurse was found to be living independently and able to answer questions.

• The Trust agreed to investigate another concern (7 years late). • The Trust fell silent on the subject for 9 months.

• I contacted CQC. • The Trust immediately claimed to have completed investigation 6 months earlier.

• I asked for a copy of results. • The Trust ignored the request.

• I gave evidence to Morecambe Bay Investigation. • Trust suddenly “anxious to meet to share findings of investigation”.

• My story was published in a national newspaper. • Trust respond claiming “the lack of detailed evidence available to us at this time means we are unable, so many years later, to substantiate the issues he raised.”…”our Trust, like many across the country, has worked hard to tighten its whistleblowing policies, and has seen a sea-change in the way it responds to and investigates staff concerns.”

New Trust requires Non-Exec directors who do not have NHS experience!

Since telling the world that there can be no investigation findings, “unable, so many years later, to substantiate the issues he raised“, the Trust has made repeated invitations to meet me to “share” the non-existent findings.

So was there an investigation… with findings that could be shared …or not?

No “sea-change” there then? But perhaps we can hope that the tide is going out!

Titanic Trust Sinks! 247 feared dead!“Today, the name of Morecambe Bay has been added to a roll of dishonoured NHS names that stretches from Ely Hospital to Mid Staffordshire.”…Report of The Morecambe Bay Investigation published 3rd March 2015 titanic rests

A Disbelieving World…

“The Invaders, alien beings from a dying planet, their purpose to make it THEIR ward.

Russell has seen them. For him, it began one lost night on a lonely NHS ward, looking for a management that he never found. It began with the landing of a craft from another philosophy. Now Russell knows that the Invaders are here, that they have taken Foundation Status. Somehow, he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun…”

The guest stars in tonight’s story: CQC, The Earl Howe, PHSO, Sir Robert Francis QC, Sir David Nicholson and supporting cast.

2007

Public Concern at Work: “We strongly recommend that you follow internal procedures and give the Trust opportunity to address the issues. It may damage your case if you involve external bodies.”

2008

My Formal Grievance was upheld and Trust admitted not investigating my concerns.

2009

A second Formal Grievance was upheld admitting that concerns had not been investigated.

2010

Robert Francis QC: I was very sorry to read about your experiences as a whistleblower and the serious consequences this has had for you…”

Gagged…

Morecambe Bay Trust achieve Foundation Status

2011

Morecambe Bay Trust achieve highest Hospital Mortality Rate.

2012

David Morris MP (Morecambe & Lunesdale): “I was concerned to read of your experience both at the time, and of the longer term effects that you continue to endure.”

The Right Hon. The Earl Howe PC, Dept of Health: “I was very sorry to hear of Mr Dunkeld’s experiences and his concerns about how whistleblowers are treated… I hope this reply is helpful.”

2013

Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS, told MPs on the Public Accounts Committee that whistleblowers who have been gagged will be written to and told they can finally speak out. “You may be aware that a new CEO, Jackie Daniel, started at the Trust last year. You may wish to contact her directly to inform her of your concerns…”

Now free to speak up…but no-one is listening!

Jackie Daniel CEO Morecambe Bay Trust: “You may wish to meet with David Wilkinson, Human Resources Director, in the first instance,…”

2014

BBC:The NHS story we were looking at has actually changed now to one about hospital hotels. Unfortunately the whistle-blowing one is not very prominent now on the website.”

Care Quality Commission: “CQC’s role is to check that health and social care services in England meet quality and safety standards; our role does not include investigating individual complaints and neither do we have the power to take up your individual complaints with the trust. You may be able to take this further with the Health Service Ombudsman.”

Health Service Ombudsman:I understand the CQC have advised you to contact us but, from the information available on their website, they would be the appropriate organisation to consider your concerns.”

David Wilkinson, HR Director: “…we are unable, so many years later, to substantiate the issues he raised.”

2015

Morecambe Bay Investigation: Thank you for taking the time to bring your concerns about University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust to our attention.”

Eight bloody years! Are there serious failings occurring now? We won’t hear about them until 2023!

Breaking News:

– always happy to meet russell. My office will arrange

Nowhere Man, the world is at your command.

Robert Francis

Nowhere Man, please listen, You don’t know what you’re missing, Nowhere Man, the world is at your command

February 2015: The whole world was shocked to hear Sir Robert Francis QC describe a sinister culture of cover-ups and bullying within our NHS. He described a ‘war on the wards’ in which those who dare attempt to draw attention to wrongdoing are routinely intimidated, smeared, silenced and disposed of to protect the lazy, the complacent, the incompetent and the downright evil. Thousands of so-called “Whistleblowers”, long since dismissed into a cruel exile of poverty, unemployment, depression and suicidal tendency, celebrated the first comprehensive and accurate portrait of a long-standing & widespread problem. A convincing warts & all depiction it was, detailed by over 19000 respondents, with criticism for managers, trades unions, Dept of Health, watchdogs & the Legal System, as well as reference to thousands of lost careers & blighted lives. Across the board, there was a welcome for Sir Robert’s accurate insight and sympathetic treatment of a hitherto well-hidden subject.

However, after a few hours had allowed deeper digestion, came a chorus of loud disappointment from NHS whistleblowers themselves.

He’s a real nowhere man, Sitting in his nowhere land, Making all his nowhere plans for nobody…


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2971737/Appalling-treatment-NHS-whistleblowers-investigated-Staff-ostracised-hospital-bosses-demand-independent-inquiry-whitewash-Francis-Report.html


A host of high-minded aspirations, contained in the Report’s Recommendations, appear to have been left without means of enforcement. There are to be no teeth, no accountability, no redress, no inquiry into the fates of brave clinicians who reported wrongdoing in the dark age of “Delay, Defend, Deny” that went before. We are all to pin our hopes on new internally-appointed “Speak Up Guardians”. Is there anyone so naive as to hope that Trusts will promote a whistleblower, “snitch, tell-tale, troublemaker”, to these posts? Long queues of smartly-dressed, brightly-optimistic yes-men & yes-women must already be snaking along the corridors to smooth-talk their way into a new opportunity for self-advancement.

DaddyWhat did YOU do in ‘The Great War on the Wards’, Daddy? Did you report that patients were being abused and neglected? …or did you sit quietly and politely waiting for bosses to notice what a promising little manager you were?

He’s as blind as he can be, Just sees what he wants to see, Nowhere Man can you see me at all?

The NHS is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Blind, Deaf & Dumb Applicants are welcome.

PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO NHS WHISTLEBLOWING NOW!