Lewisham and Greenwich say;
There are two stories in the Mirror about a junior doctor, Chris Day. He is claiming that he was removed from the doctors’ training programme after whistleblowing at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), which is run by Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust (where I am Head of Communications). Here are links to the stories:
We were disappointed that we were not to be contacted for a comment and that Health Education England (who run the training programme) were not contacted. Chris Day’s allegations that he was forced to leave the training programme are not true: I have spoken to Health Education England (HEE), who have confirmed that Chris Day resigned from the training programme. This is a key point, so please could the article be amended to reflect this? The full statement from Health Education England is in full below.
Statement from Health Education England – to be attributed to a spokesperson
“Having resigned from the training programme, Dr Day brought claims of whistleblowing detriment against Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust and Health Education England (HEE). Such claims can only be brought against an employer, as defined by the Employment Rights Act 1996. He claims he was discriminated against because of matters he raised concerning patient safety which led him to resign. Having investigated the matter, HEE resisted Dr Day's allegations on the grounds that it had not subjected Dr Day to any detriment for the reasons he alleged and that it was not the employer.
“On 14 April 2015, the Employment Tribunal discharged HEE from the proceedings on the grounds that it was not Dr Day's employer. Dr Day appealed and on Wednesday 9 March 2016 the Employment Appeal Tribunal rejected that appeal; it confirmed that HEE's approach to the case was correct, in that trainees are not employed by HEE and so cannot make this type of claim. HEE is obliged to apply the law as it is drafted.”
Dr Day’s Response to the Mirror
The email you forwarded is from the Head of Communications at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust. It isn’t from HEE.
The Head of Communications at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust says that she has spoken to HEE and sets out what she says is a “Statement from Health Education England” in her email. But the purported Statement has yet to be attributed to a spokesperson – see the heading to the Statement. So who knows what involvement HEE has had in its drafting, or what responsibility HEE takes for it.
This lack of concern for procedure and the underlying facts is typical of what I have had to put up with ever since I first raised my concerns about patient safety with the Trust.
In relation to what you say in the two articles, the main thrust of both articles is correct. Your story says I was removed from consultant training and HEE took away my training number. That is correct. HEE tried to impose unfair conditions on my continued training. When I refused to accept them HEE terminated my training and training number. That meant I could not continue training to become a consultant. Unless I win my appeal my career in medicine will not progress any further.
The other main thrust of the two articles is also correct. The law provides no protection for doctors who whistleblow against retaliation by HEE. The Head of Communications say as much in the Statement she attributes to HEE: “trainees are not employed by HEE and so cannot make this type of claim”. That will remain the case unless I win my appeal or the law is changed.
So, substantively your articles are correct. I wasn’t given a chance to comment on the articles or provide quotes before they were published so can’t swear to absolutely everything they say, but I can confirm that the main thrust of the two articles is correct.
I would like to thank you and the Mirror for taking an interest in this story.