Update 18 Sept 08: Cross-posted at http://nhsexposed.blogspot.com
Those who know me may be surprised to learn that this battle is not between a wronged patient and the NHS.
For more than 1 year I have posted about patient problems with the NHS: NHS Lothian over Mrs Carr's lack of treatment; the terrible lack of resources in Scotland for the treatment of eating disorders; the appalling treatment of Mr G (as reported by the mental Welfare commission for Scotland); the lack of respect, compassion and caring within the NHS; plus many other posts. The common theme has always been how patients were failed by the NHS.
Today I highlight another battle but, this time, I join the battle late: the battle to ensure doctors can speak out about the Health Service without fear of victimisation.
Hence the badge below.
Both Andrew and Deb posted about Dr Scot Jnr who had been suspended for calling a medical bureaucrat "fucking shit". Not face-to-face but on a doctors forum. Fortunately, he is now reinstated but now there is another case.
Dr Shirine Boardman, a consultant at Warwick Hospital, has been sacked. According to a newspaper article:
"She was sacked by the hospital’s bosses on July 22, but is appealing against the decision.
Hospital chief executive Glen Burley said: “Dr Shirine Boardman was dismissed following an internal hearing carried out in accordance with our disciplinary procedures.
“We are not going to comment in detail on the nature of the misconduct, but we can say that it does not relate to any issues of patient safety or clinical competence.”
Therefore, the reasons for her sacking are not known but in June of this year, in another newspaper article, she supported calls for improved diabetes services. Is this the reason for the sacking? I don't know but the NHS does have form here.
Please support Dr Boardman by displaying this badge - doesn't need to be so large. She is probably just one more example of doctors being disciplined for telling the truth.
I said earlier that some may find it strange that I should support doctors when I've spent so much energy fighting some of them. To me there is no conflict. We can each have our own problems but, if the NHS is not improved then all of us lose.
My two battles stand shoulder-to-shoulder.
There is no doubt that the NHS is struggling but doctors who speak out and highlight the problems are subject to sanction but we need them to speak out. The NHS is not a business whose prime aim is to make profits for its shareholders, the NHS is my, your, our NHS.
If there are problems then we need to know about them; it's for our good. Every time a doctor is sacked or suspended for speaking out the harder it is for the next doctor to stand up. This is what the bureaucrats want. We cannot let this happen.
We must support those brave doctors ....... for us.
And when they are victimised we must say, "STOP! Let that doctor work.
And you who victimise, you are hindering the recovery of the NHS; you can go. We don't need you; don't want you.
Please support Dr Shirine Boardman.
Please support every other doctor who is victimised for telling it how it is.
Please display the freedom of speech badge.
Please stand up with, and for, doctors.
Let us reclaim our NHS from the politicians and bureaucrats.
The NHS is our NHS.
But we will lose our NHS unless we stand and fight.
Stand with me and our brave doctors