1,000 signatures reached
To: David Cameron
DAVID CAMERON. WE WANT JUSTICE FOR SHARMILA CHOWDHURY NHS WHISTLEBLOWER
Dear David Cameron
We would like you to urgently review the injustice suffered by an NHS Whistleblower, Sharmila Chowdhury.
Sharmila has had 30 years of unblemished experience in the NHS as a radiographer and then radiography service manager.
Sharmila raised serious concerns about fraud at Ealing Hospital,in 2009, where she was the budget holder. She had reported ongoing concerns to her line managers, which were escalated up the management chain. There is a full paper trail of her raised concerns and related correspondences.
No action was taken by the Trust into her raised concern. Instead a false counter allegations were made against he. She was marched out of the premises and dismissed. This was despite the fact that no wrongdoings whatsoever by Sharmila were found by the investigating team. The fraud related to fraud by doctors undertaking private work and being paid by the NHS and also included using NHS premises inappropriately.
Sharmila took the matter to Interim Relief Hearing, prior to an employment tribunal and is available to those who have been dismissed as a result of whistleblowing to have their contract reinstated. Sharmila won the case proving that she was dismissed as a whistleblower. Her Trust refused to let her return to her post. Sharmila also won the internal appeal.
Sharmila wrote to the department of health, NHS London, the Treasury and No 10. No help was given as all said they couldn't get involved. Sharmila settled out of court in 2012 with 2 years pay. Out of which she had to pay £77,500 on legal fees.
She has been unable to secure any jobs and has had job offers withdrawn, interviews cancelled and posts withdrawn. She has clearly been blacklisted.
Sharmila is now suffering from breast and lung cancer, which numerous consultants believe is due to stress of whistleblowing. Without any income, she is now close to losing her home.
It is urgent that her income and her pension is secured until Sharmila retires. There also needs to be an independent inquiry into her case to help prevent this happening to others in future..
Why is this important?
Sharmila had won Interim Relief Hearing which proved her to be a whistleblower. Despite this, Ministers and officials have refused to assist her or provide redress to enable her to live with some dignity after acting in the public interest. Sharmila is left with career loss, job, income, pension loss, catastrophic damage to health and faces being homeless.
This is an example what happens to whsitleblowers within NHS and sets out the tone of what happens when staff raise concerns. Cases like Sharmilas sets an example to other whistleblowers what can happen when you exercise your 'duty of candour.' You can find more at http://www.sharmilachowdhury.com