Top cardiologists back Usha Prasad’s fight against ” badly behaving ” health trust

Dr Usha Prasad

Just before Christmas I carried a blog on a tribunal held in Croydon looking into allegations of sexism and racism brought by Usha Prasad, the sole woman cardiologist employed by the Epsom and St Helier University Health Trust. The case centred round an anonymous letter by a junior doctor who believed she put patient safety at risk and sent it to the chief executive, the Care Quality Commission, the General Medical Council; Jeremy Hunt, then secretary of state, and one of her patients.

She lost the case at a bizarre hearing presided over by employment judge Katherine Andrews which would only discuss whether the letter was racist or sexist.

But now two very eminent cardiologists Professor Jane Somerville and Dr David E Ward, have come forward to speak out in her defence – and raise much wider issues about how our National Health Service is being run and how trusts are using taxpayers’ money to pay large sums to lawyers to silence people who raise uncomfortable issues they would rather brush under the carpet.

Professor Jane Somerville, now 87, is one of the country’s leading cardiologists. She recently was awarded the World Heart Federation Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cardiovascular Health for defining the concept and subspecialty of grown-ups with congenital heart disease (GUCH) and being chosen as the physician involved with Britain’s first heart transplantation in 1968.

David E Ward has recently retired as a cardiologist at St George’s Hospital, in South London.

Jane Somerville: Pic Credit: World Heart Foundation

This is Jane Somerville’s detailed comment:

“There are many serious problems that are illustrated from this sad report of the ruining of a young doctor’s career as a cardiologist. She was an obvious target for bullying, harassment, and victimization by management at all levels. Why? Because she was Asian (foreign), small and female. This is such easy picking for those in charge to establish a continuous stream of it as indeed is shown over years.

“What is of more concern is the failure of the regulatory bodies and support services on which we have been brought up in medicine to believe they will be there for us to help give advice and support when in need. Just to name a few involved in this case: BMA, legal representation, GMC, MPA or MDU and indeed, the civil law itself. This is particularly important as the offending trust can afford on taxpayers money to engage the best advisors and the young doctor cannot afford to enlist such help.

questioning integrity and fairness of the judiciary

“Now from this case, one is forced to question the integrity and fairness of the actual judiciary. This is something one hopes in a civilised country one would never need to do. However in this case it is clear to assume that what has been reported is true, that the judge was biased against Dr Prasad with more than one example and did not allow relevant evidence (letters) to be shown.

  “It is clear from the beginning of this case which started with simple complaints related to poor bureaucratic and system management which was influencing safety and comfort of patient management and continuing a few months later with acceptance from the trust with anonymous letters from her junior colleague and unacceptable behaviour in contacting one of her patients, that the trust was not interested in being even handed to her and worse, wanted to get rid of her.

bullying trusts

 ” In these current times of enormous difficulty and pressure in the NHS where it is clear that junior staff and nurses are needed and should be valued and cared for, that one must wonder why anyone would want to work in this trust or other trusts who have shown similar behaviour, victimising a young useful doctor. Despite what claimed, doctors who draw attention to something wrong for patients or staff safety (whistleblowing), have little or no protection in the bullying Trust.

The Department for Health with all its talk needs to address this matter urgently and stop just giving lip service to the excellent recommendations (Sir Robert Francis QC) that have been made to them. They must be made responsible for this bad behaviour by trust managers which alas is not unique to Dr Usha Prasad.

Dr David E Ward

Dr David E Ward commented earlier on my blog as aceofhearts44. He is now happy to repeat his view in his own name.

“I know Dr Prasad as friend and colleague. I and a senior eminent British cardiologist have been supporting her cause for sometime. It is astonishing that what was initially an anonymous complaint has led to a chain of events culminating in the dismissal of a small, female doctor of Asian descent. It smacks of bullying, victimisation and other behaviours doesn’t it?
Something is seriously amiss in this story. It needs to be exposed. It’s heartening that a respectable journalist has taken an interest (we tried unsuccessfully to get others involved). Let’s hope justice is done. Sadly I’m not optimistic. We will continue to support Dr Prasad in any way possible.”

Something seriously wrong in the NHS

These are not the only people who are concerned. I have had a number of people contact me – some in confidence – who are raising similar behaviour elsewhere – and want me to look into other cases. Since this is not a mass circulation blog – with the exception of the campaign I have backed for justice for the 1950s born women who are having to wait another six years for their pensions – it suggests to me that there something seriously wrong in the NHS and needs a thorough investigation. Otherwise I would not have such a strong response.

21 thoughts on “Top cardiologists back Usha Prasad’s fight against ” badly behaving ” health trust

  1. Sad. But I show no sympathy as when patients and other people / staff speak of or complain of the failure of these govt quangos like you mention, and the bullying by the mgmnt within the nhs as to example.. Royal London Barts Health Whitechapel Gastro-Endoscopy section with over 15 different managers on very high salaries where i saw my partner suffer as you did.. but when i figjt they got me arrested twice but then as i fought the system i won but it made me bitter to hate the police / nhs plus they then asked the 2 bullies her section to resign but whete is her compensation and mine.
    My point is that too many times because we have our nice job, home etc we say others boo.. no support to them until like you it happens bit support after your life career future is ruined is no good. We need to when inside organisations to public expose the mismanagement be it you might still lose your job but you are more likely get more support then than once you are ruined as it become appeals etc. STOP SUPPORT THE MAIN STREAM POLITICAL PARTIES AND STOP SUPPORT MAINSTREAM CANDIDATES try give the independent person.
    How about start a organisation group to expose the corruption in county courts and quango orgs to scrap them and expose the serious mismanagement in nhs trust all over the country by ask people in the group to covertly record stuff and take pics etc and give the group to publish online their own site ..STOP MISMANAGEMENT / ABUSES BULLYING IN THE NHS..
    Happy to chat talk by email me let me show you a recording that saved me from go jail and from get a criminal record but it has made me bitter my experience and we need to start gather share expose as only then will things change. Lets chat.

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  2. Pretty indicative of the so called ‘legal system’ I think…and it’s only gotten worse since I was allowed access to it, although not really as I quickly learnt…. These people can speak out now as they’re at the end of their careers/ lives and probably don’t have anything or much to lose over it….
    I know of many Drs who have had their careers ended for whistle blowing. Only a fraction you would have heard of in the MSM. I believe my ex partner (senior intensive care nurse, London hospital) was discriminated against simply because of her association with me.

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  3. As I indicated in my earlier comment, such cases are sadly all too common in the NHS, and I have documented some, together with related resources, on my website, http://www.abetternhs.com. Two solutions to such problems…have independent, external expert investigations of such cases. Make sure that those who play a key role (managers, clinicians in management roles) are properly trained and also accountable to regulatory bodies.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Its good to see a good support for Dr Prasad’s case, albeit a little late down the line. I understands she is suffering this ordeal for quite few years now. Dr Kapur points out a better system to improve the NHS’s present corrupt system.
    Te doctor in question gets so isolated and alienated by their peers and colleague that they are outcasted and treated like a criminal though none gets proven!
    Some doctors are able to fight this with some good financial and family support but those who are immigrants and have no strong financial standing find themselves sucked in a major blackhole. This culture is going on for years and is thriving exponentially on the tax payers monies.
    I wish Dr Prasad and similar many other hundreds of the doctors in NHS get their rightful justice … the time has come to voice it and stand united!

    SS

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Once again, another top talent get wasted by the NHS because of Inappropriate handlings, bias and discrimination. It is not unbelievable that this type of issues are still going on and many don’t even complain but suffer in silence. Some even receive psychological and psychiatric treatment due to bullying and maltreatment by the colleges.
    Very sad !
    Wish a decent outcome for the doctor involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not treatment! Psychiatric reprisals on whistleblowers and campaigners and the like leave the victim totally destroyed. Finally admitted now that electroshocking and the drugging does cause permanent brain damage! Last time I checked the figures was 2008….and was bit shocked to discover that the ‘crazy population’ in England and Wales had been growing at 40% every single year for over a decade…if anything that number has increased. Guess what? They’re not actually crazy people…..there is a financial motive as well. When they do that to you they steal your home and all your possessions and sell them on places like ebay….whilst charging the taxpayer again for the privilege!

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  6. Clearly external, independent experts should be involved in the resolution of such cases.
    Furthermore it is complete disgrace that in this day and age whistleblowers in a major public institution are not protected.As we can see in this case, and as per other comments, this leads to bullying, cronyism and other mismanagement practices.
    Of what use is the BMA if cannot protect it’s members – why are they not offering more support and pushing for much needed change in management practices.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Doctors Protect
    On 6th February 2019, the DOH published an article for the secretary of health Mr. Matt Hancock titled, “Getting the right leadership is vital for patient’s safety.” Every year the NHS hospitals invite speakers to talk about the subject of “Civility saves lives.” However, behind the scenes, a squad made of high-ranking doctor/manager personnel aided by an army of HR and NHS managers start assaulting some who had the courage to whistle blow against fraudulent behaviors and unsafe practices by the very same people who suppose to be the leaders by example. They come up with bogus cases and drive a relentless campaign of terror against those who gave all that they could to ensure safe practice and excellent patient care. It is time that all the forces of good come together to expose this shameful attack on the descent and hardworking medical personnel in our NHS. Back in 2011, the BBC released a documentary through the series “inside out” exposing part of the problem. Over 600 doctors and nurses were excluded from medical practice in one year in London alone with millions of pounds of taxpayer’s money wasted. The victims were left to bleed alone with no one to save them. The same relentless destruction of the medical NHS manpower is still raging while the hospital regulators ignore calls to put an end to this carnage. It is time that a more powerful documentary is released for the public to watch, to be aware, and to interfere to save those who one day will save their lives. The above was written in support of the dedicated and committed Dr Usha Prasad.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was appalled to hear how Epsom Health Trust has treated Dr Prasad. It is utterly disgraceful. Is this the NHS, the so called “caring profession?” They need to reflect on their behaviour and be accountable for the stress caused to her.

    I hope they can provide support and resolve the situation without causing any more stress to Dr Prasad.

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  9. travesty, mockery, exploit,minority,
    Whilst on the verge of collapse, it’s a shame to see the NHS not only treating it’s most capable with such disregard but also throwing away taxpayer’s money to sweep these instances of evident bullying under the rug. Having done some research on Dr Prasad, I’ve found her to be popular among her patients having a five star rating on all categories on http://www.iwantgreatcare.org/doctors/dr-usha-prasad It’s apparent that the problem therein lies with the racism, sexism and corruption in the NHS behind the scenes. It comes as no surprise that the sole female cardiologist was dismissed. At it’s current state, The NHS is a joke and I can only hope Dr Prasad gets justice.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I work within the NHS, and have done so for many many years, and find this article very interesting. I have had my suspicions of institutional racism and bias within the NHS for a long time. My feelings have been based upon fact… examples see with my own eyes, but then you need to wrestle against writing a wrong v career progression – in 99% of cases it is the latter that wins.

    The NHS has been built on hard working BAME and non-BAME colleagues, but if you examine the top echelons of the NHS you can see an obvious imbalance, add in conscious and unconscious bias and you have a recipe for disaster.

    Reading the story of Dr Prasad just highlights my suspicions. Good luck you will need it, but articles like this can only highlight your plight and be a positive.

    What is sad, I cannot even risk posting this message with my real name due to reprisals. What a vicious circle NHS doctors live in…… and off to a COVID ward tomorrow I go!
    Am I mad? All the odds are stacked in one direction!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have just read your blog, and I am disgusted to realise that the NHS has far to many spoiled entitled racist bully’s in it and they should be named and shamed . I sincerely hope Dr Prasad find much more worthy employment

    Liked by 1 person

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