PLEASE NOTE, THIS PETITION HAS NOW BEEN FORWARDED TO ANDREW LANSLEY. WE HAVE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING REPLY ON 12/6/2010 FROM ANNE MILTON MP. I HAVE DECIDED NOT TO CLOSE THE PETITION SINCE PEOPLE CONTINUE TO SIGN TO SHOW THEIR SUPPORT FOR DR HOLT.
"Thank you for your letter and petition of 27 May to Andrew Lansley about Dr Kim Holt. I am replying as the Minister responsible for professional regulation policy.
We are aware of Dr Holt's dispute with GOSH and the independent investigation commissioned by NHS London.
Your letter asks the Secretary of State to intervene in an employment dispute between Dr Holt and GOSH. Any sugestion that an NHS body may have victimised a member of staff who was seeking to raise legitimate concerns in the public interest must be taken very seriously indeed. However, the Department has no place to intervene in what is essentially an employment dispute between an employee and her employer.
NHS staf have a basic right and duty to raise concerns about health service issues with their managers and under no circumstances should they be penalised. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 gives full protection of the law to staff who act in the public interest, providing they follow the procedures set out in the Act, and the penalties for those who penalise staff for doing so are potentially very severe. The Act provides protection under law to workers in such circumstances and the appropriate means of redress is through an employment tribunal.
Although the Act itself does not require organisations to set up whistleblowing policies, it provides strong reasons why they should. The Department has, in light of the Act, made it clear that every NHS Trust should have in place local policies and procedures that comply with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. NHS London does have a whistleblowing policy, which I have enclosed for your information.
In order to support NHS staff, the Department has taken out a contract with the independent whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work. The charity's helpline is staffed by lawyers with expertise on whistleblowing law, and calls are treated in confidence.
More specifically, in regard to Dr Holt. I am afraid that I am unable to comment on indiviual cases. NHS London took Dr Holt's accusations extremely seriously and commissioned Bevan Brittan LLP to undertake an independent review into Dr Holt's complaints. The report and findings were published in December 2009 and are publicly available on the NHS London website. This can be found at www.london.nhs.uk by navigating to the "News & health issues" section and typing "St Ann's Hospital Haringey" into the search bar.
It is for Dr Holt to consider taking legal action if she feels she has suffered detriment on account of having raised legitimate concerns with her employer. The Department could not act on behalf of Dr Holt as it is not party to the contract of employment.
I hope this reply clarifies the government's position on this matter."
This petition is for NHS staff and patients who want to show their support for consultant paediatrician Dr Kim Holt.
In December 2009, Great Ormond Street promised to reach a "swift and amicable solution" with Dr Holt after a damning NHS London report largely vindicated her criticisms of the child abuse clinic in Haringey, for which Great Ormond Street provided the doctors.
Dr Holt has spent the last three years on "special leave" since warning – more than a year before Baby P came to the clinic – that she and other doctors there were dangerously overworked and a child would die unless action was taken.
Great Ormond Street promised to implement the recommendations of the NHS London report, one of which was that Dr Holt had done nothing wrong and should be reinstated. This has not been done and while Dr Holt remains on "leave" at public expense, the hospital have readvertised her post.
Further information at :
You can read more about the story here:
You can see the full report into Dr Holt's allegations of bullying here:
We, the undersigned, wish to show our support for Dr Kim Holt, a consultant paediatrician of 25 years standing who attempted to highlight concerns about dangerous staffing levels in child protection.
We feel that Dr Holt has been unfairly treated and should be reinstated to her post as promised. We urge the Secretary of State to examine why a service that is stretched to dangerous levels has been denied the skills of an experienced paediatrician at great public expense. We further request he explain why professionals who attempt to raise concerns about systemic failures in the Health Service continue to be treated so negatively.
The Support for Baby P Clinic Whistleblower Dr Kim Holt petition to Secretary of State For Health was written by Pete Deveson and is in the category Health at GoPetition.