Publication of avoidable death scandal at Epsom and St Helier University Health Trust leads to another relative coming forward and queries about a former senior staff member in Jersey
An employment judge has thrown out Dr Usha Prasad’s whistleblowing case and all her allegations of victimisation, sex harassment, and sex and race discrimination.
She is also facing a costs claim of an astounding £150,000 plus VAT via the law firm Capsticks from the Epsom and St Helier University Health Trust.
A letter from Capsticks says: ” The Respondent has incurred very substantial costs indeed in defending the unmeritorious proceedings, of in excess of £150,000 plus VAT. The costs incurred correlate to the Claimant’s unreasonable conduct and the unmeritorious nature of her complaints.”
Judge Tony Hyams-Parish’s judgement is long on the detail of all the various top management’s moves against Dr Prasad which led to an unprecedented 28 month suspension from clinical duties and remarkably short on any evidence given by her and her witnesses. He exonerates the actions of the senior management and ignores claims by any of her witnesses. And given he goes into such detail it is rather surprising he doesn’t mention that Daniel Elkeles, the former chief executive of the trust, offered to abandon the internal disciplinary proceedings against her if she dropped the tribunal case against the trust.
Indeed the most twisted part of his judgement is what he leaves out. Take the issue of the GMC revalidation of Dr Prasad. This is his purple passage:
“The Tribunal was invited to consider was the outcome of the claimant’s hearing before the GMC. The GMC began an investigation into the claimant which concluded in March 2021 with no further action to be taken. The claimant continued to state throughout this hearing that she had been exonerated by the GMC, suggesting that their conclusion must cast doubt on the actions and motivations of the respondent. However, the Tribunal found it difficult to draw any such conclusions from the GMC outcome. The Tribunal was not shown the content of the GMC referral or the case examiner’s report. Whilst the GMC and the respondent were looking at the same cases, their remits were likely to be quite different. In any event, the Tribunal was not shown sufficient evidence to decide either way.”
Really? The GMC judgement was entirely based on a list of 43 complaints submitted by the trust and obviously the trust expected it to be endorsed by the GMC. Instead it was sent to very experienced cardiologist in Middlesbrough who had worked at Papworth Hospital and he could not find anything wrong. And not only was this finding approved by the GMC, they revalidated her – taking away the power of the trust to do this. Given many doctors feel they are not well treated by the GMC, this was a remarkable outcome. The GMC was telling the trust to get stuffed.
The second area is the glossing over of the main whistleblowing claim. It centred around the avoidable death of a 76 year old man, Mr P, from heart failure, partly caused by negligence, muddle and poor communication at the trust. Dr Usha Prasad, who had no part in the care of the patient, was asked to review the case as an independent person. Evidence was given that an attempt was made to get Dr Prasad to rewrite her findings which included that the death should have been reported to the coroner and the Care Quality Commission. At the hearing Dr Richard Bogle, former head of the cardiology department, admitted that this should have been done – basically saying Usha Prasad’s judgement was right.
But this has been airbrushed from the judgement. If I hadn’t been there to report the case, no one would be the wiser that this happened.
Judge Tony Hyams-Parish disrespectful to dead man’s family
Not only to do I find this a gross omission but in my view the judge is being disrespectful to the man’s family by removing the details of the whistleblowing case. It is though he is thinking so what, a 76 year old dies, who cares?
But Judge Hyams-Parish knows he is on solid ground to ignore all this. He has already told Usha Prasad there is no recording or transcript of the proceedings, and his judges’ notes will never be released. So his judgement is the only record. And it is criminal offence if anyone has a recording.
Judgement a stain on British justice
My view is that this judgement is a stain on British justice which is supposed to be the epitome of ” fair play” and full transparency.
Instead it appears to me to more akin to Russian and Chinese justice .Here there is a semblance of justice but the result is a foregone conclusion. What appears in this case is the forces of the Establishment have been marshalled to intimidate and destroy an individual for the benefit of state power.
One good result of the publicity is that a relative of another person who died at St Helier hospital has come forward to me to investigate their case. And what happened at St Helier seems to have been picked up in Jersey, where this blog has a small circulation, and queries are being raised about a former senior manager at St Helier.
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Typical. “What appears in this case is the forces of the Establishment have been marshalled to intimidate and destroy an individual for the benefit of state power.”
Happens all the time, over at least the past two decades- I’m a victim to. But you really just figuring this out…? I admire your bravery David…..but worry that you don’t know that they could suddenly decide to come and get you to! £150K+ fine is probably going to lead to homelessness, bankruptcy and being unemployable now….for life, as long as that life lasts….
“What appears in this case is the forces of the Establishment have been marshalled to intimidate and destroy an individual for the benefit of state power.”
This is not Russia, this is England, we do things differently here,? In Russia you are put into prison on some trumped up charge, here they financially cripple you. One of the reasons why I never took my case against the NHS and a drugs company, if I had lost I would have ended up being bankrupted.
people here get locked up for years on ‘remand’ before being dumped onto street….or locked up and tortured in mental prisons for years, without even an accusation levelled against you- in Russia they actually did it to a man called Gorbachev! Law must be different there as he went on to become President for a bit….in England you can’t, secret code word word called section 54, but they as always refuse to put anything in writing….at least in Russia they’re more honest about it, they threaten before implementation if you don’t capitulate, here they don’t threaten, just do……
Many years ago my grandmother died in St Helier’s Hospital, she’d been taken to the toilet and was forgotten about, she had a heart attack 50 minutes later on the toilet. We never got an apology nor an explanation. She never had a heart problem either!
In the early 1990s on a visit to St Heliers A&E childrens unit we heard the cries of a distressed lady well into her nineties who had been left alone on a bed in a service corridor. No staff were giving her any attention. Frequently they coldly walked past her without any checks. So we and another family visiting A&E went and checked on her and while we were were checking on her we read her hospital notes which had been left on her bedframe. What they revealed was she had been there for 12 HOURS. We all approached to A&E staff who met our concerns with indifference and inaction. So what we then did was justified. We called 990 and asked for the the Police. They arrived quickly, had words with A&E staff when shortly aferwhich the patient was removed to a place of safety. What this and other similar incidents we all know about St Helier is it was and is still a crap hospital. Knowing that, our family when really needing a walk in A&E bypass St Helier which is 5 minutes away from our home and instead drive to St Georges at Tooting, a hospital that St Helier needs to take lessons in from its neighbour St. Georges.
Wow this is absolutely ridiculous! A fine that big could be life changing and the stress it must cause Dr Usha Prasad is completely unfair! The current judging system is absolutely horrible.
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This is not Good decision taken by the court for a Specialist Consultant Dr Usha Prasad.
Racism is going on at U.K We want Justice for Dr Usha Prasad.
It’s a disgrace that a whistleblowing issue has resulted in a life changing financial penalty for a highly capable cardiologist who was totally exonerated by the GMC.
Yet the clear failure of the trust on the avoidable death is simply ignored. There seems to be no accountability in the trust and anyone who dares to highlight flaws gets crucified. Such poor management control simply would not exist in any private company of a similar size and complexity.
You could say I know a little bit on how the NHS back-office works, and I find this incredulous. I was sat watching football on TV last night and was passed your article to read. This is like one of those unbelievable VAR incidents; where the “wrongness” unites all fans, crossing colours/allegiances. The outcome of this case has me feeling the same. Totally outrageous, and to add insult, to the ruling, the sting-in-the-tail financial hardship for years to come. Are the Backoffice mob Brahmins or are we going to introduce some form of VAR process that actually works?
This is horrible and disgusting for the decision taken for Dr Usha .
Black day has come for NHS.
This is very Unfair decision Which will totally and mentally disturb Dr Usha.
We want fair decision for Dr Usha.
The case has been heard time and time again, the decision is clear and unequivocal. Pay up and stop wasting the Public Purse on this shocking navel-gazing.
Put the news on and grow up.
It’s navel-gazing to case about the quality of justice? Right you are.
Other people suffering more does NOT invalidate one’s suffering, caused by entirely avoidable injustice.
Nor do I think patients or families want such abuses to be covered up either.
Wow my heart rate went up to 97 sitting reading this. There doesn’t seem to be any oversight of employment judges, and the lack of ability to record proceedings is scandalous.
I do wonder how seriously a complaint about the judge’s conduct would be taken.
I partly won a tribunal against a Scottish local authority, but should have won far, far more. The judge was unfair and biased against me, and highly selective of the evidence – just like you describe. Didn’t help that the lawyer missed lots of good evidence.
The system needs utterly overhauled – starting with the ability to record what goes on in the employment courtroom.
yep, totally agree….i find it perversely that they can ‘legally’ record you without your knowledge and consent, but if you do it to them it’s years in gaol (Norman Scarth) ….+ in practice they won’t let you have a copy either, despite the Data Protection Act that says the opposite….I would refuse to partake in the ‘Judge Judy’ thing (private means private, not to be transmitted to the world for entertainment purposes) bit in Amerika they have largely solved that problem…and even on civil matters like between tenant and landlord, you can insist on a jury…which does go a large way to dealing with the corrupt or just biased judge problem. But here you can no longer even issue proceedings now without having a bank account and agreeing to the court staff to have access to that information so they can go through your privates on that as well….
Who knows the depths to which they stoop. Thou doest. David your a liberator of truth and justice against the speck which was crushed by the evil dictators. HP will be quaking in his boots.
Pingback: Guest blog: The appalling treatment of NHS whistleblowers parallels the Post Office sub-post masters scandal | Westminster Confidential
One hundred members of a group known as ‘Justice for Doctors’ (JFD) have witnessed a pattern of abuse by employers to silence whistleblowers who raised protected disclosures in the public interest, most importantly, patients’ safety concerns, fraud, and lack of adherence to HR procedures. The victims were intimidated, harassed, bullied and many lost their jobs for simply speaking up to protect patients and the public. Having lost their jobs, the victims believed that they will be treated fairly at employment tribunals only to see the same biased tactics against them. Major reforms are urgently needed to fix these broken systems. We urgently call for openness, transparency, and objectivity.
and how many people have been forced out/ fired for simply questioning the official narrative on the plandemic? I can’t seem to find a specific number…but it seems to be now more for a specific agenda beyond that of the incompetent or bullying ‘management’….
I note that racism has been called in a comment below. This claim comes with no evidence. It is important not to make this conclusion when there are other likely candidates for this miscarriage of justice. A similar outcome has befallen others at tribunals who are not black. It is just as likely that the judgement is pro- business or based on other prejudice or alignments as racist. I am not denying that racism is possible but, it should not be a default position.
This is outrageous and needs to be looked independently
This truly is disgraceful.
“This judgement is a stain on British justice… it appears to me to more akin to Russian and Chinese justice”. Realistically it’s those countries who are looking down upon our corrupt and unscrupulous justice systems. We’re just all living under the impression that our justice system is fair because the hundreds of cases like this will never gain enough publicity. The people at the top of the Trust and similar organisations know exactly where their priorities lie. The livelihood and wellbeing of someone who was an exemplary employee for them is never going to feature in that list whatsoever.
Whilst the current war in Ukraine wages, you have to look beyond the newspapers to realise who the real enemy is.