|Doctor Raj Mattu © liarpoliticians / YouTube|
Doctor Raj Mattu said he was humiliated by the smear campaign launched against him by managers at the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.
The once internationally famed doctor won £1.22 million in damages on February 4 after a 15-year legal battle. Birmingham Employment Tribunal ruled that he was a whistleblower who had been “subjected to detriments” and that he had been unfairly dismissed.
Despite the large payout, Mattu told the Daily Mail he is still £200,000 in debt after racking up enormous legal fees.
Doesn't sound like a large payment in consideration of so many years of lost wages, defamation, and an unnecessary legal battle. I would have thought that he should have been awarded at least 3 times that much, and the hospital should have to pay his legal fees.
In an interview with the newspaper, Mattu described the bullying as an attempt to silence him.
“Short of accusing me of being a terrorist, anything they could think to throw at me they did — rape, sexual assault, fraud, tax evasion. I was investigated three times in four years by the Inland Revenue. The most hurtful allegations were the ones that made me out to be a sexual pervert. I had no idea at the time what was being said about me. The charges were never put to me.
“It wasn’t until many years later when documents were released to me during litigation that I discovered the trust had held secret meetings with the [General Medical Council] during which they’d made these unforgivable claims. The GMC began to investigate these allegations [through] the police.
“In the end the West Midlands police got so fed up with the GMC inquiries they said: ‘There are no crime reference numbers, no reports. As far as we’re concerned, there is no incident. Why don’t you simply ask the doctor?’
To this day I have not been provided with any details of these fabricated sexual attacks. When I received these documents from the GMC shortly before they decided there was no case against me to answer in 2009, my heart sank. I couldn’t believe what I was reading.”
Mutta was initially suspended in February 2002 on trumped-up charges of bullying, just months after he spoke to the BBC about the dangers of overcrowding.
His campaign against overcrowding was sparked by two deaths in his ward which he says were avoidable. Months later, then hospital chief executive David Loughton spoke on the news, rejecting a report by the Commission of Health Improvement (CHI) that warned overcrowding was dangerous.
“I almost choked on my tea,” Dr Mattu said.
“I wrote to the Strategic Health Authority saying: 'Will you please intervene'.”
Mattu was suspended from the NHS for five-and-a-half-years, and was only reinstated after successfully winning a High Court case in 2008.
However his victory was short lived. In 2010, the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust dismissed the cardiologist for refusing to sign an agreement to withdraw from research reskilling.
Mattu, whose health had deteriorated as a result of the stress, was in the hospital recovering from an operation when he was sacked by a disciplinary hearing.
He claims he could not have survived the past six years without the support of his wife, Sangeeta.
“I am not sure I could have survived this without Sangeeta’s love,” Mattu said.
“Lots of women would have walked away years ago and I wouldn’t have blamed them, but she’s been there for me.”
“When I think of all she’s had to sacrifice. She should be a mum,” he told the Mail.
Dr. Raj and Sangeeta, you two are my heroes today for your courage, integrity and determination. God bless you!
The astonishing David Loughton
Probe launched into NHS chief who blew £6m to get rid of whistleblowers as minister pledges to protect workers who speak out
David Loughton earned £400,000 this year as chief executive of Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust
He oversaw threats to punish a whistleblower for warning that his hospital was fiddling its death rate figures
West Midlands hospital chief executives given pay rises of up to £10,000
Hospital chief executives in the West Midlands were awarded pay rises worth up to £10,000, it has been revealed.
By PAUL BENTLEY FOR THE DAILY MAIL and DANIEL MARTIN FOR THE DAILY MAIL - March 2014
The NHS boss threatening to sack a whistleblower has spent more than £6million of taxpayers’ money getting rid of staff who raised the alarm about poor care in his hospitals.
David Loughton, who has earned £400,000 this year as chief executive of Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, last night faced calls to resign after details emerged of his attempts to drive out whistleblowers.
It was revealed earlier this week that Mr Loughton oversaw threats to punish a whistleblower for warning that his hospital was fiddling its death rate figures.
Sandra Haynes Kirkbright was suspended after claiming the hospital was manipulating records.
She was sent a threatening letter saying she had breached her contract by talking to the Daily Mail – despite repeated assurances from the Government and NHS bosses that whistleblowers will be protected.
Last night, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt vowed to support whistleblowers and praised the Mail.
‘In light of the Daily Mail’s recent reporting it’s important to be absolutely clear that whistleblowers speaking out about poor care must be confident they will be listened to,’ he said.
‘An independent review will now establish the facts in this case. We need an open culture in the NHS where staff feel supported to raise concerns. Anything less is unacceptable.’
NHS bosses also announced there would be a ‘swift’ independent inquiry into Mr Loughton’s treatment of whistleblowers by the NHS Trust Development Authority, which monitors hospital performance. It will be conducted by human rights lawyer Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, the former president of the Law Society.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any results from this inquiry.
The Mail can now reveal that Mr Loughton has spent millions in public money cracking down on staff who raise concerns in the public interest.
He was forced to resign in shame from his previous job after his hospital was rated the worst in the country and was chastised for vilifying whistleblowers.
Mr Loughton has faced intense criticism this week after his trust wrote to whistleblower Mrs Haynes Kirkbright, 50, warning that she faced the sack for raising serious concerns about the hospital to the Mail in March last year.
Mrs Haynes Kirkbright only spoke out after repeatedly raising concerns with bosses that death figures were being manipulated.
After talking to the Mail, she was suspended and Mr Loughton wrote to her in December warning she faced disciplinary action for blowing the whistle. Mr Hunt intervened personally in her case, demanding all action against Mrs Haynes Kirkbright be frozen.
|Whistleblower: Sandra Haynes Kirkbright was suspended after claiming the hospital was manipulating records|
Last night, he said: ‘It is a disgrace. It is incomprehensible that someone who was removed from their job 12 years ago because of their attitude to whistleblowers and poor performance should then, like a revolving door, end up working again in the NHS on a high salary.
He should consider his position.’
As chief executive of Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry in the late 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, Mr Loughton openly spoke of a ‘hit list’ of five of his staff whom he was determined to get rid of.
At the time, his trust was given the worst ever rating by watchdog the Commission for Health Improvement. It was found to have been overcrowding wards.
The excess death rate for non-emergency patients is said to have been 60 per cent – more than double that of Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust at the height of the hospital scandal in 2005-2008.
Mr Loughton suspended two top surgeons who spoke out about high death rates. Alban Barros D’Sa, a leading surgeon, was accused of serious professional misconduct in 1999 after whistleblowing to bosses about a colleague’s worrying number of patient deaths.
But Mr Loughton would not give him his job back because he had displayed a ‘lack of confidence in the chief executive’.
Mr Loughton fought the case to the High Court twice and lost. After a 20-month legal battle, which cost the taxpayer £250,000, Mr Barros D’Sa, who is now 77, was cleared by an independent panel and given his job back.
Heart surgeon Raj Mattu was also suspended after speaking out repeatedly to his bosses about overcrowding causing deaths at the hospital.
Mr Mattu claims Mr Loughton tried to bribe him to leave quietly, but he says he rejected the offer. This claim has not yet been proven.
The surgeon was suspended in February 2002 and, in the longest running case of its kind, which has cost more than £6million, he is still fighting at tribunal.
The £400k boss who faces calls to resign
By Paul Bentley and Andy Dolan
David Loughton has earned £400,000 this year despite a history of failing patients and suppressing whistleblowers.
Records show the chief executive of Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust is paid a salary of £209,000 – more than eight times the average taken home by his staff.
After turning 60 in January, he now also gets a bonus tax free lump sum of up to £195,000 from his £1.5million NHS pension.
The pay package has emerged despite damning inspection reports and political anger over his performance running hospitals.
Mr Loughton, who lives with wife Deborah and their two children in a £800,000 detached property outside Warwick, has worked as an NHS chief executive for 27 years.
But over that time he has faced intense criticism for his ‘aggressive and bullying’ manner in covering up scandals to the detriment of patient safety.
After working as a local manager, Mr Loughton was made chief executive of Coventry’s Walsgrave Hospital in the mid-80s.
He ran it for 17 years, during which time he was accused in Parliament of ‘completely ruining a trust and the provision of health care in an area’.
Former watchdog the Commission for Health Improvement gave the hospital a ‘zero star rating’ in 2001.
Excess death rates for non-emergency patients were worse than those seen during the Mid Staffordshire scandal and serious concerns were raised about overcrowding.
The suppression of whistleblowers was also highlighted in a report, with bosses accused of creating a ‘culture of fear’ in which ‘doctors fear being victimised for voicing concerns’.
Despite the criticisms, Mr Loughton’s earnings increased by more than 15 per cent to £128,000 after the report was published.
Friend Gary Reay, who was chairman of the Walsgrave NHS Hospitals Trust until 2001, said Mr Loughton would get rid of anyone who crossed him, comparing him to former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
‘Like Fergie when Jaap Stam, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Roy Keane started getting too big for their boots, David would get rid of anybody he considered a threat, unproductive or disloyal. He had no compulsion moving them out,’ he said.
‘What I liked about him was he was very hard working and had a good sense of humour, and nobody f***** him over. He’s an in-your-face tough guy who could, if you let him, bully.
‘This woman [Mrs Haynes Kirkbright] better watch out because once he’s marked her card he’ll be after her. He’s an unforgiving b******.’
In November 2001, seven cross-party MPs called on then health secretary John Hutton to sack Mr Loughton following the damning watchdog report and accusations of bullying whistleblowers.
Former North Warwickshire MP Mike O’Brien said: ‘There are a lot of excellent staff at the Walsgrave hospital who are doing a great job looking after patients, but they are handicapped by Mr Loughton’s increasingly desperate struggle to hold on to his own job.’
He added: ‘There is no confidence in Mr Loughton.’
Geoffrey Robinson, Labour MP for Coventry North West, said Mr Loughton was ‘impossible to reason with’ and ‘arrogant and dismissive’.
Now here's the kicker
CBE - Order of the British Empire
David is one of the longest serving Chief Executives in the NHS. He has been instrumental in turning around the hospitals in Wolverhampton to become one of the highest performing NHS Trusts in the West Midlands and nationally. At the same time, he has also led the organisation to be nationally recognised for its work in reducing hospital acquired infection and improving patient safety.
David said, “To be awarded a CBE is a great honour and one which I am delighted to receive. As well as being an honour for me I see this as recognition of the hard work that all staff in New Cross Hospital have undertaken in recent years to take the organisation, which was branded as under achieving to now have a national reputation for the excellence of the services it provides.
I suspect he also sees it as validation of his brutal management style