‘Bullied’ doctors at Matt Hancock’s local hospital say he won’t talk to them

The Guardian reports that the health secretary Matt Hancock has repeatedly failed to respond to concerns that his local hospital is bullying and intimidating senior doctors to prevent them raising serious issues of patient safety.

An anonymous letter was sent to the family of Susan Warby, who died five weeks after an operation in August 2018, which highlighted errors in her surgery. Bosses at the West Suffolk trust are now demanding that doctors give fingerprints to try to identify who blew the whistle. The doctors have complained that this is harassment and part of a “witch-hunt”.

A serious incident investigation was conducted into her treatment, but following this the trust threatened senior medics with possible disciplinary action if they failed to give their fingerprints and samples of their handwriting. The trust says that this is not a threat, but the Guardian reports that a note to staff warned that refusal to consent “could be considered as evidence which implicates you in writing the letter”.

Full story in The Guardian, 11 December 2019