Two hospitals ban paramedic for whistleblowing
Posted: January 18, 2015
Posted in: Medical Negligence
Two hospitals in Worcestershire have banned a whistleblower paramedic after he spoke out about severe overcrowding in their accident and emergency departments. Stuart Gardner, of the West Midlands Ambulance Service, had the ban imposed on him after detailing the extreme pressure that the A&E units were dealing with, describing them as “not safe” to the BBC. Following this, the chief operating officer (COO) of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust told him that he was no longer welcome at either of its hospitals.
It was heard that the ban was placed on Mr Gardner as his comments had deeply upset various members of staff. The trust said that they had discussed the “personal upset” caused by his comments among A&E staff members. Union bosses are currently considering whether legal action is necessary in this case.
Did not criticise the behaviour of hospital staff
Mr Gardner had divulged information to the BBC about the poor treatment of patients. He said that patients were being treated in the corridors of the Worcester Royal Hospital, which he believed to be unacceptable. He said that at no point did he criticise the behaviour of doctors and nurses at the hospital, only “raise[d] concerns” about the location of their treatment.
The trust said that it actively encourages whistleblowing as it maintains good relations between the hospitals and ambulance service. However, on this occasion, Mr Gardner should have addressed the issue internally, without causing upset among A&E staff “who are working tirelessly under … extreme pressure.”
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