An NHS whistle-blower who raised concerns about patient safety was told she was “too honest” to work for the organisation, The Telegraph can disclose.
Maha Yassaie, chief pharmacist at the now defunct Berkshire West Primary Care Trust, was told by a human resources consultant that her “values” made it difficult to work for the health service.
The investigator, Kelvin Cheatle, who was brought in from a private law firm to examine bullying claims and has carried out several similar inquiries for other NHS trusts, told the whistle-blower during a meeting: “If I had your values I would find it very difficult to work in the NHS”, according to a transcript of the conversation. The independence of the consultant who made the comments has also been called into question since the conclusion of his investigation, when it emerged that he appeared to coach witnesses during the inquiry.
Mrs Yassaie was subsequently sacked from the Trust. However, following an employment tribunal in 2014, the whistle-blower was awarded £375,000 by the NHS, and the Department of Health was forced to admit that “the investigation and disciplinary processes… were, in some respects, flawed”.
The disclosures about the investigation into Mrs Yassaie after she raised concerns will fuel fears that NHS whistle-blowers are not treated fairly.
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