Exclusive: General Medical Council investigation exonerates Dr Usha Prasad of any medical failings

Dr Usha Prasad

Dr Usha Prasad, the cardiologist currently appealing against her dismissal from the Epsom and St Helier University Trust, has been exonerated by General Medical Council of any medical failings or putting patient safety at risk.

The decision by the GMC not only rejected a dossier of complaints from the trust but decided that the issue was closed and will not be re-opened again by the GMC.

The decision is part of a long running saga that has been going on for nine years and heightened by an anonymous letter sent by Dr Perikala, a staff doctor, who made the patient safety allegations in an anonymous letter to the General Medical Council, Care Quality Commission, Daniel Elkeles, the chief executive of the trust and Jeremy Hunt, then the health secretary in 2015.

The GMC initially declined to investigate Dr Perikala’s anonymous complaint but the trust has persisted in pursuing her at the GMC.

dr james marsh pic credit: Epsom and St Helier University Health Trust

I understand Dr James Marsh, the trust’s medical director, and Dr Richard Bogle, the lead cardiologist at the trust, compiled a dossier of no fewer than 43 cases which they claimed should be investigated. The GMC narrowed it down to seven cases and sent them for review to a very distinguished consultant at the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough whose career has spanned work at Papworth Hospital and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. The very detailed report came back completely exonerating her of any failings. She has also received glowing references from Pinderfields Hospital where she is currently working as a cardiologist after the Epsom trust dismissed her.

Dr Richard Bogle pic credit:www.richardbogle.com

The GMC’s decision comes just as an internal inquiry into her appeal is under way. This is being heard by Claire McLaughlan   an independent consultant, and Associate Director of  the National Clinical Assessment Service with an interest in the remediation, reskilling and rehabilitation of healthcare professionals. The case was also being followed by Dr Zoe Penn, Medical Director NHS England ,London Region and Lead for Professional Standards. She is sitting on the panel with Claire McLaughlan. Ms Mclaughlan runs a private business with her husband in Hampshire.

The fact that the hearing is taking place now is questionable since Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, told health trusts NOT to hold such hearings when the NHS is under pressure from the pandemic. I checked with the press office of NHS Resolutions and they have supplied me with the guidance for such hearings. They really should only be held if there is an absolute necessity and immediate risk to patient safety. Now with the GMC deciding there is no current and immediate risk to patient safety in Dr Prasad’s case – this makes the hearing even more questionable.

Officially the GMC will not comment on personal cases but they did confirm her clean bill of health entry on their public register which is reproduced below. All entries on this register have to be kept up to date on a daily basis. The saga continues but the case being made by the trust looks pretty weak after this decision by the GMC.

There are three earlier blogs on this issue.

They are: A bizarre tribunal hearing on the treatment of Epsom’s health-trust’s sole woman cardiologist

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

Botched internal inquiry hearing into Dr Usha Prasad at St Helier Hospital as doctors fight death from Covid- 19

 

Since this blog was published I have had this strong message of support from Justice for Doctors. Here it is:

Dear Mr. Hencke, you are doing an excellent job by highlighting the problems with our NHS and how splendid doctors like Usha Prasad had been treated. It was very courageous of Usha to challenge the wrongdoings and the harsh decisions by our health institutions at a time when the GMC are calling retired doctors to rescue the overstretched NHS.

Without dedicated and committed doctors like Usha Prasad, our NHS will crumble and collapse. The misleaders and bullies will remain to demolish what goodness is left in our NHS. Unfortunately, most doctors retire or change location whenever they were unfairly challenged. Moving away will not solve the problem but encourage bullies and harassers to thrive and do more damage.

In our view, Dr. Prasad has won the moment she decided to stand firm and challenge the discrimination, the harsh and unfair decisions. We congratulate both of you for raising awareness about what goes on in our hospitals and congratulate Usha for her courage and conviction.
Thank you
On behalf of Justice for Doctors

28 thoughts on “Exclusive: General Medical Council investigation exonerates Dr Usha Prasad of any medical failings

  1. Guess you count this as some sort of ‘result’, and I suspect down to small part to your efforts David….that is how it really works. Will she be compensated for loss of earnings and damage to her reputation, never mind the embarrassment of being put through the media?

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  2. Mr. Hencke, Further to my previous email re unsubscribe and the fact you’ve totally ignored them – you have left me no alternative than to report your unwanted emails to the appropriate body.

    Anne Keen

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    • I have told you before it is up to you to unsubscribe not me. While you have been complaining,about five people have successfully unsubscribed and two people have successfully subscribed. I know who is a new subscriber as they tell me. I have no idea who has unsubscribed as I am not told by WordPress.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My congratulations to Usha Prasad for such a clear exoneration and not acquiescing under such pressure. I fully support the earlier comment from Jonathan Durham and David’s sad but true reply. My thoughts now turn to whether searching questions will be asked of the Trust and their true motivations behind this case. The GMC has made it very clear that medical malpractice and patient safety were not the true motivators, so what was? Who now has the responsibility and authority to ask these questions and demand a truthful reply?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. David, thank you for giving the platform for the unjust treatment of the female BAME doctors in the 4th largest employee of the world. It’s unfortunately rotten with megalomaniac managers and racist colleagues. Thankfully Dr Prasad has got a rightful verdict from the GMC.
    However, one wonders how much she me have lost in these 9 years of battle on personal and professional level and who is responsible for this loss ?
    It’s becoming vital for NHS to put in place some robust remedies to avoid these unjust actions against so many of the innocent doctors and stop the bullying culture. Thank you to David for giving a platform and bringing this to the taxpayers notice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent response. 9 years of battle on perdonal and proffesional level.
      People responsible for harassment should be dragged out to prevent suffering of other innocent hard working doctors.
      Dr Usha prasad should be adeqately compensated for the loss by the trust …….at least some remedy for her .

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is not good job done by Nhs to a experienced Cardiologist Dr Usha Prasad.
    Every one be should be treated equally.
    Racism going on in NHS.
    Justice wanted for Dr Usha Prasad.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This must be such a relief after what has clearly been a stressful and immensely challenging time.

    Can’t think how many wasted hours and pounds have been spent unjustly on pursuing this when there is clearly no case to answer.

    Amazing how dignified Dr Prasad has been throughout this unfortunate scenario and still remained focussed on patient care..

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  7. Another example of a talented doctor being made to suffer ( surely emotionally, psychologically, socially and possibly financially) , her reputation shattered and humiliated for no real reason by the discriminatory trust and some colleagues with possible underlying benefit to themselves by suspending this Cardiologist.
    Hope those who provided false information are held account by the court and the GMC.
    She should be compensated.
    The truth prevails!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said , those providing false and misleading information not only shatter the person .Tax payers money for all the unnecessary proceedings.They should be held accountable by the court and GMC , Rightfully said.
      Truth Prevails

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  8. Common sense prevails….. or has it?

    I’m sure the whole process has taken its toll on Dr Prasad. The real question is, how many more Drs are being dragged through the same “mud”? A complete “root and branch” assessment is needed in the public domain so the opaque processes in play are eradicated once a for all.

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    • how many struck off or imprisoned when it was somebody else’s fault….? have you ever heard of a white person being referred to the GMC, apart from Wakefield….? I certainly haven’t…it’s just a mechanism for silencing and destroying people that go against the establishment at best…

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  9. The only investigation that should now proceed is into the practices and actions of the trust, including that against the ‘whistle-blower’ who made these unsubstantiated accusations. Perhaps they should be treated as Dr Prasad was and, if found to be malicious, perhaps they should be funding a chunk of the compensation. If the law does not currently allow for this, it should be changed; there should be consequences to making unsubstantiated claims. Of course Dr Prasad should be compensated.

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  10. even when you do ‘win’….you still lose big time….it’s a rigged game from start to finish, only way to solve the problem now….but you’re allowed to talk about that!

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  11. Delighted to hear that Dr Usha Prasad has been rightly exonerated from such unsubstantiated accusations. After 9 years it is however difficult to imagine the emotional, psycological and physical consequences for a innocent proffesional woman whilst the unproffesionalism and racist actions of the whistle blower and trust are unblemished.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dr. Usha Prasad is a very dedicated and conscious Doctor. She has been a very honest and transparent person. She is very people friendly and helping in nature. She is very easy going and appears to be a good team player. She has always been a straight forward person who is very popular with everyone. She is a real gem of a person.

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  13. Following exoneration by the GMC Doctor Usha Prasad should now be re-instated immediately. The only inquiry that should now take place is one into the behaviour and motivation of the persons who instigated the saga in the first place ! They must face some consequence for such a waste of time and expense as well as placing undue stress on a talented doctor. Otherwise this sorry episode is likely to repeat for some other innocent and the toxic working environment will persist.

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  14. Usha is great a person socially and professionally. Her reflective nature makes her very successful in all aspects of life.
    I know her f for last 16 years as friend and colleague and I found her to be always humble, caring and compassionate about any work she undertakes.
    My best wishes to her for a happy social and professional life ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Shame on you both Drs Marsh and Bogle. And especially on Dr Perikala, who I understand was Dr Usha Prasad’s ‘underling’ at the time and whom I suspect struggled to be in a subordinate position to a woman. Just my opinion but I’m aware how this system works and how stacked it is against women, particularly when they manage to claw their way into high positions, against the odds. How very dare you all. However, I am delighted to now learn that Dr.Prasad has been fully exonerated by the GMC and I sincerely hope that she decides to seek some form of redress against the Trust in general and these three male doctors in particular. Absolutely shameful high handed and immoral behaviour aimed at an illustrious popular and caring female consultant, the only female at that high level within the cardiology department there. Maybe some form of crowd funding would be in order to level up the playing field somewhat: the complainants seem to be free to use (unlimited? Or is there a budget we might be permitted to know about) NHS funds – ie taxpayers money: yours and mine – to pursue this unjustified and unjustifiable course of action against this hardworking & conscientious female consultant. I am delighted that the GMC has fully exonerated her from any and all failings. It’s just a pity she’s been out through this frightening and traumatic ordeal for nine years or more. I sincerely hope that those involved in the internal enquiry currently underway at the trust (oddly notwithstanding the GMC’s rulings in her favour) tread very carefully. Otherwise it is my opinion that she likely has a very strong legal case to pursue against them, as she clearly already does in connection with the earlier behaviours of the Trust and certain individuals who wrongfully pursued her. One for which no doubt the taxpayer will again have to foot the bill. She of course had and will have to continue to pay her own legal fees, or otherwise appear as a litigant in person, against the (relative) might of the Trust. I do hope she looks into the possibility of taking action against not just the Trust but more particularly those individuals involved in the apparent witch hunt agaibst her. After what she’s been put through for nine plus years now, her damages would likely be very significant indeed. This situation and the behaviour of those involved in the complaints against Usha Prasad are an absolute disgrace. Shame on the lot of you.

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  16. Well done Dr Usha for standing up against injustice, bullying and harassment. All on the basis of an anonymous letter from someone who did not even have the courage to own up for it !! Good work by justice for doctors too and of course David.

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  17. The question we should ask ourselves is “is it ok for anybody to just pursue such a vendetta against a well respected consultant and yet not face the consequences of their actions?”
    To me, those who instigated this inquiry by trying to sabotage the only woman consultant cardiologist career at St Helier NHS trust should be investigated themselves on their motives as this is not something that can be just brushed under the carpet.
    For Dr. Prasad, she had had to endure many years of set backs in her own career progression, the unimaginable stress she must has been put through, not to forget any personal/social impact and any potential mental health issues that may have temporarily manifested as a result.
    Glad to see that justice has prevailed in this instance as she has now been completely exonerated of any blame by the GMC and no doubt those found culpable will have to bear the consequences of their action. A major compensation claim should not be discounted.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Usha Prasad is the most hard working doctor I have ever met, gud to see she is fighting strongly herself and I m proud of her

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  19. There are many levels of the TI/ gangstalking program, used to be known as MK Ultra and contelpro programs. What this woman has endured is extremely low level stuff….but this is how it usually starts for us. Hopefully, this is solely down to a few perverse people in her immediate orbit and it won’t escalate beyond this.

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