Friday, 16 January 2015

Patient Lives put at Risk as UNISON Condemn Attack on Whistle Blower

UNISON has today condemned the actions of the Stewart Messer, the Chief Operating Officer at Worcester Acute Hospitals NHS trust. Mr Messer has singled out Stuart Gardener, a UNISON rep and registered paramedic , who criticised the standards of care caused by the excess workload being placed upon Accident and Emergency departments across the region. Mr Gardner used Worcester Hospital as an example in recent media interviews.

Prior to making his comments Mr Gardner advised Mr Messer of his concerns about A&E and his intention to raise this issue through whistle blowing. He was told ‘to go ahead and do it’. He was then subjected to threats before and after making his comments. He has now been barred from attending Worcester Hospitals even if he is carrying out his duties as an operational paramedic.

UNISON have grave concerns that lessons from the Stafford Hospital inquiry regarding whistle blowers have not been learned and rather than dealing with the problems facing the A&E departments the Trust has chosen to personally attack a member.

Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:

“Our rep Mr Gardner is clearly acting in the public interest in whistle blowing about serious concerns about A & E. The response from the Trust’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr Messer is nothing short of an utter disgrace.

By banning Mr Gardener from the Trust premises Mr Messer is putting patients’ lives at risk. What happens if Mr Gardner is on a 999 call in the area and the best place to take patient is to Worcester Royal Hospital. Is the Chief Operating Officer saying that Mr Gardner will be turned away, and will have to take the patient to a hospital further away, thus endangering patient safety.
The public know that frontline NHS workers are working flat out to deal excess workload in A & E. But how can the people of Worcester have any faith in the management of the hospital when in Mr Messer, we have a Chief Operating Officer who has prioritised victimising a UNISON whistleblower over spending his time addressing the real and serious issues in A & E.
UNISON will not allow patient lives to be put at risk for such a foolhardy and vindictive response when legitimate whistle blowing concerns are raised."

No comments:

Post a Comment