Monday, 19 September 2016

Confessions of an NHS whistle-blower!

ALTHOUGH this book by Milton Peña Vásquez is not without its faults, mainly in the editing, it ought to be compulsory reading for any young person intent on embarking upon a career in the medical profession. Not only does it give a revealing and honest account of the internal workings of Tameside hospital, but it also exposes the incompetence of NHS managers and their attempts to cover up their failings by threats and intimidation.
The findings of the Keogh review team which were published in a report in July 2013, led to the resignation of Christine Green, the Chief Executive of Tameside Hospital and Tariq Mahmood, the hospital Medical Director. Among its findings, the report stated that Tameside Hospital had the 7th highest rate of infection for MRSA of 141 Trusts nationally over the three years from 2010-2012 and had the second highest infection rate in the country for Clostridium difficile, over the same period. It also found that:

'The Trust’s clinical negligence payments have significantly exceeded contributions to the ‘risk sharing scheme’ over the last three-years, by a total of £21m over this period.' 

Yet, in spite of its appalling record for mortality, cleanliness and safety, Tameside Hospital managed to obtain foundation trust status in February 2008 (“supposedly the benchmark of excellence”) when death rates were 19% above the average and safety was the “sixth-worst in England” (Daily Mail 30/11/2009). Mrs Green also managed to secure a 17% pay rise which took her salary from £120,000 to £140,000 a year.

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