Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Doctor attacks Tories’ ‘dishonest’ reply to her open letter that was shared 180,000 times

Janis Burns sparked a mass trend when she penned a searing missive over the Tories’ 7-day NHS plans. Now the government’s written back

An NHS doctor has attacked the Tories’ ‘dishonest’ reply to an open letter she wrote that was shared 180,000 times. Janis Burns sparked a mass trend when she penned a searing missive to David Cameron over the Tories’ 7-day NHS plans. Fresh from a weekend of graveyard shifts, she complained her colleagues already work all week long and she earns less than a Pret a Manger coffee shop manager. And she sarcastically congratulated the PM on his ‘inflation-busting pay rise’ as NHS staff flooded Twitter with selfies under the hashtag #ImInWorkJeremy.

Now the £34,000-a-year junior anaesthetist has received a signed two-page response from health minister Ben Gummer. But she’s not happy – claiming his reply doesn’t answer her questions and misses out key facts.

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Filed under: NHS, ,

A scalpel in the back: How hospital buried evidence that could clear surgeon jailed over patient’s death after 40-year ‘exemplary’ career

  •       BMI Healthcare heaped blame over death of James Hughes on David Sellu
  •       Surgeon was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter and jailed
  •       Senior consultant claims that surgeon was made a ‘scapegoat’ by BMI 
  •       Accused of wanting to cover up broader failings at the Clementine Churchill Hospital

Britain’s biggest private healthcare firm concealed an internal report that identified ‘systemic failings’ at one of its hospitals where a patient died after a routine knee operation, a Mail on Sunday investigation can reveal. The hospital’s owner, BMI Healthcare, heaped blame for the death of a retired builder on one of its surgeons, David Sellu. He was convicted at the Old Bailey of gross negligence manslaughter and jailed for two and a half years, ending a 40-year career described by colleagues as ‘exemplary’.

James Hughes had complained of stomach pains after the operation and died just over a week later of cardiac arrest following a ruptured bowel while he was under the care of Mr Sellu. The Root Cause Analysis (RCA) report ordered by BMI into what went wrong was hidden from Mr Sellu’s trial in 2013. Documents obtained by this newspaper reveal that BMI executives not only read the report, but were taking advice from the firm’s lawyers on its ‘status’.

Last night, Peter McDonald, a senior colorectal consultant at London’s world famous St Mark’s Hospital, told this newspaper in an exclusive interview that he considers BMI made Mr Sellu a ‘scapegoat’ for the broader failings at the Clementine Churchill Hospital in North-West London.

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Scapegoat’: Surgeon David Sellu, left,  was jailed for two-and-a-half years for gross negligence manslaughter over the death of James Hughes, right


Filed under: Hospital, Named & Shamed, Whistleblowing, ,

The best thing about being a doctor is sharing the secrets of the NHS system – by Ellie May, consultant anaesthetist

I see where the health service fails patients and I want to apologise for it

There are so many excellent aspects of being a doctor you may think it difficult to pick the best one. The good news is I have the answer. The bad news is, it’s not what you think.

First, eliminate the sensible reasons for embarking upon a vocation in medicine, the benefits that parents point out: a job for life, employee benefits such as sick pay and maternity leave, and a public sector pension. Next, disregard obvious reasons, stated by eager applicants during their interview for medical school. Helping people, making a difference and job satisfaction. Leaving aside the irreverent: nudity, black humour and in-jokes are the domain of sniggering, usually male junior doctors. It can be amusing but is far from the best thing.

No, the best thing about being a doctor in the NHS today is having insider knowledge. Knowing the weak points in the system. Being able to identify where systems break down and having the know how, ability and confidence to intervene. Being able to remedy problems in a timely manner, averting disaster or just gently steering the plan back on course is something I am eternally grateful I can do. Not just for me but also for my friends and family.

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I know how best to access a busy consultant and how to push the receptionist at the GP surgery for an appointment. Photograph: Thomas Tolstrup/Getty Images

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

Investigating how paedophile doctor went undetected – Do you have any information on Dr Bradbury?

Anyone with information that could help is asked to contact Verita, at or 020 7494 5670.

Following Bradbury’s conviction in December 2014, the Cambridge University Hospital (CUH) Trust has commissioned an independent investigation into the internal processes of the paediatric oncology unit where he worked. Bradbury pleaded guilty to 25 offences, including voyeurism and sexual assault, against boys in his care. In a letter to parents and guardians of children affected by Bradbury, CUH chief executive, Dr Keith McNeil, urged people with any information to help with the investigation Dr McNeil said: “The purpose of this independent investigation is to establish how Dr Bradbury was able to carry out his activities, how his offending behaviour went undetected and what lessons there are to be learnt for this service, the Trust and the wider NHS.

“I am writing to make you aware of this investigation, and invite you to contribute. “I should emphasise that the independent investigation, which is being undertaken by a company called Verita, is looking at our internal governance in the hospital and not at the clinical care of individual patients. “Verita would like to hear from any patients, their family or carers who may have mentioned a concern about Dr Bradbury to a member of staff, or were dissuaded from doing so, at any point during their treatment here. “I would like to reassure you that any contact with Verita would be confidential.”

by Josh Thomas Haverhill Echo


Dr Myles Bradbury leaving Cambridge Crown Court.

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Surgeon’s blunders to ‘cost NHS millions’

COMPENSATION claims running into millions of pounds are being drawn up by victims of disgraced hospital surgeon Roger Bainton.

Lawyers have taken on the cases of more than 100 of the consultant’s patients for a group legal action against the NHS. They believe individual settlements will range from a few thousand pounds to six-figure sums for those patients who have needed multiple operations or missed time off work following botched operations on their faces. The doctor has been suspended from the Royal Stoke University Hospital for two years – with the NHS trust already paying out around £500,000 to cover the cost of him staying at home, using extra staff to cover his absence, and reviewing his work.

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BLUNDERS: Roger Bainton

Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, , ,

What I learned as a cancer patient will make me a better doctor

All cancer doctors deal with harrowing stories. Like many, I had coped during my six years as a consultant oncologist at the Christie, by adopting a firm belief that it could never happen to me. Unsurprising then, my sense of shock when, just over a year ago, I left my busy gastric cancer clinic to receive the results of my own biopsy, taken from a breast lump the week before. If I am totally honest I knew what was coming. The mammograms and ultrasound scan had left me with little doubt, but I had clung to the slim hope it was just a big scare.

Despite years of training in clinical communication skills, I now know how it is that patients only recall the first sentence when bad news is broken. “I have the results of your biopsy and I am afraid it is not good news”, is what I heard my surgeon say. I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The rest of the consultation passed in a blur. In that moment it felt like my whole identity had been turned on its head. I was no longer a cancer doctor, I was a cancer patient with all the fears and questions that anyone faced with that diagnosis experiences: how will I cope? Who will look after the children? What will happen with work? Will my husband manage? Will I die?

ReceptionA friendly word from the receptionist, or the secretary you call to check on a lost appointement can make all the difference to someone with cancer. Photograph: Alamy

Filed under: Cancer, Uncategorized, , ,

How GPs leave us feeling confused: Third admit feeling anxious after an appointment because they do not understand what their doctor has told them

One in three Brits admit leaving appointments with their GP completely baffled by medical jargon, according to research.
A shocking 31 per cent feel confused, anxious and uneasy after failing to understand what their doctor has told them.
One in ten 18 to 24 year olds (ten per cent) even think a harmless ‘benign’ condition is terminal – causing them to leave the doctor’s in unnecessary fear.
The study shows many others are also misunderstanding their diagnosis.
One in nine Brits (11 per cent) believe a CT scan is a ‘computerised torso scan’, while eight per cent are convinced a haemorrhage is just another word for piles.

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Filed under: GP's, Uncategorized, ,

Avoid this GP like the plague: Patients’ warning on doctor who ‘closes surgery for 5 hours a day and takes calls on mobile during appointments and discusses medical secrets with receptionists

Patients described Dr Bijan Saha, 73, from Sittingbourne, Kent, as ‘terrible’
Complaints GP discussed medical conditions in front of reception staff
Care Quality Commission inspection finds surgery has serious failings
Report reveals medicines ‘not handled appropriately or stored correctly’

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Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

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