McMillan Williams act for Sandra Haynes-Kirkbright, who is an NHS whistleblower.
Sandie (as she likes to be known) started working at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust on 17 October 2011 as its head of clinical coding and data quality. In early 2012, Sandie started to raise concerns with her line manager and colleagues about working practices in the coding department and elsewhere.
In due course, the Trust suspended Sandie in July 2012 and that suspension continues. On 1st March 2013, the Daily Mail published a front page article reporting that:
- Sandie had been head hunted by the Trust and offered her almost double her previous salary to fiddle the death rates at the Trust;
- That rules were routinely broken to improve the recording and reporting of death rates within the Trust without actually saving lives;
- Sandie reported her concerns to her line manager as the reporting practises gave rise to payments received from local Primary Care Trusts for work that had not actually been undertaken by the Trust;
- That Sandie was ordered not to put her concerns into writing in case they reached the press; and
- As a consequence of Sandie’s reluctance to be involved in what she saw as a cover up, she was suspended.
Since the article emerged in the Daily Mail, Sandie has been on suspension pending an investigation. An investigation has been undertaken and prepared by Verita, an independent organisation commissioned to prepare a report into the substance of Sandie’s concerns.
We are pleased to report that Sandie’s concerns have been upheld and have exposed a number of serious issues within the Trust. A copy of the Verita Report can be accessed at http://www.ntda.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/RWT-Verita-Report.pdf
Sandie is represented in this matter by Bellamy Forde, Head of Civil Litigation at McMillan Williams Solicitors in conjunction with Andrew Bousfield of 3 Paper Buildings Chambers. Sandie has also received the support of Whistle Blowers UK (WBUK).
In an article accompanying the release of the report, Fran Steele, Portfolio Director at the NHS Trust Development Authority, said:
“It is essential that people feel able to raise concerns and have the confidence that these will be looked into and that disciplinary and grievance procedures are undertaken properly. This review has found that Mrs Haynes-Kirkbright was not treated fairly.
The Daily Mail has also responded to the reports findings, calling for the Wolverhampton NHS Trust Boss, David Loughton, to be sacked.
The Guardian has also written extensivley on this case in their article NHS whistleblower 'was treated unfairly' after alleging death rate-fixing.
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