A advisor obstetrician has claimed he was sacked from his hospital for elevating whistleblowing issues about affected person security over fears they might trigger “reputational harm”.
Martyn Pitman instructed an employment tribunal in Southampton that managers dismissed his issues and he was “subjected to brutal retaliatory victimisation” after he criticised senior midwife colleagues.
He stated: “Every day there was proof of deteriorating requirements of care. We have been sure that the state of affairs posed a direct risk to each sufferers’ security and workers wellbeing. Concern was expressed that there was a real threat that we may begin to see avoidable affected person disasters.”
Reasonably than addressing these, Pitman stated the belief had thought-about it “the trail of least resistance to take out [the] whistleblower”.
Pitman was dismissed this 12 months from his job on the Royal Hampshire County hospital (RHCH) in Winchester, the place he had labored as a advisor for 20 years. He’s claiming he suffered a detriment on account of exercising rights below the Public Curiosity Disclosure Act.
He stated he “fought towards [an] absolute barrage of fully unprofessional assaults on me” after he raised issues about foetal monitoring issues that resulted within the demise of a child and the supply of one other with extreme cerebral palsy.
In an announcement, Pitman stated the merger of RHCH with Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospital NHS belief in 2012 “proved difficult on account of important variations within the philosophy of care and administration type”.
He stated this included an emphasis on pure start over caesarians. “I used to be justifiably reluctant to observe the … senior midwifery-led, pro-normalisation mannequin of care championed by our new companions. I imagine that, within the twenty first century, maternity care needs to be patient-focused with mother and father having the ability and supported to decide on, with evidence-based recommendation, how and the place to ship their infants.”
This resulted in deteriorating morale within the RHCH midwifery group, together with elevated illness and resignation charges, leaving “dangerously low staffing ranges stopping secure ranges of affected person care”, Pitman stated.
RHCH midwives elected him to behave as their “spokesperson and sounding board” in relation to their issues in regards to the new senior midwifery administration, who got here from the Basingstoke hospital, and which Pitman believed had been appointed “on the idea of friendship somewhat than skilled advantage”.
When Pitman organized a one-on-one assembly to tell a midwifery chief that her colleagues have been considering a vote of no confidence in her, he was accused of bullying and harassment.
Hampshire hospitals NHS basis belief’s barrister recommended Pitman had launched a “freelance marketing campaign to fire up dissent as an alternative of permitting these points to be handled in an appropriately formalised manner” by asking colleagues’ opinions of the senior midwives and organising conferences.
Pitman stated: “I had knowledgeable accountability and authorized obligation to voice my issues associated to affected person security and to symbolize the views of my colleagues. That is totally supported by the belief’s personal guideline associated to elevating issues and whistleblowing.”
Following this, Pitman was subjected to a proper sustaining excessive skilled requirements investigation that he considered as “overly aggressive”. Pitman stated he was downgraded after a “surgical complication” throughout a process carried out by a colleague with out his data whereas he was on name in March 2021.
A spokesperson for Hampshire hospitals NHS belief stated: “Dismissal is at all times a final resort and since Hampshire hospitals was shaped 11 years in the past, no member of workers has ever been dismissed for whistleblowing or elevating issues over affected person security; and so they by no means shall be. We actively encourage our workers to lift any issues they’ve in a variety of alternative ways and assist those that accomplish that.
“The belief ensured that every one points raised by Mr Pitman have been totally and impartially investigated, together with in some situations by exterior evaluation. Each effort was made to restore his relationships with the maternity and medical colleagues in query – efforts which have been sadly unsuccessful.
“We’re more and more involved that Mr Pitman’s illustration of the explanations for his dismissal may discourage others from elevating vital points.”