Petition Tag - department of health

1. Investigation regarding University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

Joshua Titcombe died in 2008 as a result of failures at the maternity unit of University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. There have been at least 7 deaths there recently.

Whilst there has subsequently been an investigation by the Care Quality Commission and currently there is a police investigation, information has emerged which shows various official bodies knew of serious and systemic failures at the trust, wider than maternity services, and did little or nothing about them. The trust was awarded NHS Foundation status in spite of this and information has been suppressed. This comes AFTER Mid Staffordshire.

It is vital that lessons are learnt about failures in the CURRENT system of regulation to protect patients in the future.

Action against Medical Accidents ("AvMA" - the charity for patient safety & justice) supported the Titcombe family with Joshua's inquest and continues to work with them to campaign for an independent investigation into the wider issues concerning the trust.

2. No NYC Happy Hour Ban

NYC Department of Health DOH under commissioner Thomas Farley, rumored ban on happy hour.

Rumor or Fact voice your voting muscle in order to maintain rights as an adult, not to be treated like a child, and forced to pay higher drink cost!

3. Corporations must not dictate public health policy

According to The Guardian: “The Department of Health is putting the fast food companies McDonald's and KFC and processed food and drink manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Kellogg's, Unilever, Mars and Diageo at the heart of writing government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease.

In an overhaul of public health, said by campaign groups to be the equivalent of handing smoking policy over to the tobacco industry, health secretary Andrew Lansley has set up five 'responsibility deal' networks with business, co-chaired by ministers, to come up with policies.

The groups are dominated by food and alcohol industry members, who have been invited to suggest measures to tackle public health crises. The alcohol responsibility deal network is chaired by the head of the lobby group the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. The food network to tackle diet and health problems includes processed food manufacturers, fast food companies, and Compass, the catering company famously pilloried by Jamie Oliver for its school menus of turkey twizzlers. The food deal's sub-group on calories is chaired by PepsiCo, owner of Walkers crisps.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, the leading liver specialist and until recently president of the Royal College of Physicians, said he was very concerned by the emphasis on voluntary partnerships with industry.......He doubted whether there could be 'a meaningful convergence between the interests of industry and public health since the priority of the drinks industry was to make money for shareholders while public health demanded a cut in consumption..... On alcohol there is undoubtedly a need for regulation on price, availability and marketing and there is a risk that discussions will be deflected away from regulation that is likely to be effective but would affect sales. On food labelling we have listened too much to the supermarkets rather than going for traffic lights [warnings] which health experts recommend.' ”

The Shadow public health minister Dianne Abbott, has called for the Health Select Committee to launch an enquiry into this decision. Please show your support for this enquiry by signing this petition.

4. Justice for Overseas Doctors

Friends

An overseas doctor in UK who has been battling for over 10 years to establish that the Department of Health followed a racially discriminatory policy against overseas doctors now seeks your support.

In 1987 Raj Chaudhary was a young, bright, ambitious doctor from India who came to England to train as a surgeon. He had Masters in Surgery from Delhi and obtained FRCS from Edinburgh and London soon after arriving. Having done two years’ training as surgical registrar and having obtained Urology diploma from University College London he got through open competition into a registrar post in Urology. The post was in Manchester and was of 3-years duration. After a brief stint in research he then took up a locum senior registrar position.

Then came the Calman reforms in training.

Raj fulfilled all eligibility condition to enter the new Specialist Registrar training. But the Postgraduate Dean refused to recognise his Manchester training. To his disbelief the British Medical Association of which he was a member declined to help. He sued the BMA for race discrimination.

In 2002, an Employment Tribunal ordered the BMA to pay £814,877 to Raj Chaudhary. The BMA appealed. The Appeal Tribunal upheld the Employment Tribunal's finding. BMA then went to the Court of Appeal.

Meanwhile Raj had also taken the Dean to Employment Tribunal. During the Tribunal proceedings, the Secretary of State for Health stepped in for the Dean and offered Raj £500,000 to settle the case.

Raj insisted that the Secretary of State acknowledge that there had been a breach of the promise that all “registrar training would be comparable” and as a result overseas doctors like him had suffered. The Secretary of State refused to accept this and consequently, Raj declined the offer.

The Tribunal hearing proceeded and while the Tribunal accepted that there had been a promise that ‘all registrar training would be comparable’, quite inexplicably, based on oral evidence of a civil servant, the Employment Tribunal ruled against Raj.

The Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal handed down a decision on the 27th of July. It ruled against Raj in the appeal against the Secretary of State. At the same time, the court ruled in favour of the BMA and withdrew the compensation award made to Raj. The court has refused permission to appeal to the House of Lords.

Details of the case can be seen on Raj’s website www.chaudhary.uni.cc.


Friends, the breach of the promise of comparable training and the unfair implementation of new regulations at the time of change in the training regime affected a whole generation of Asian and other overseas doctors. Careers of hundreds were ruined. Many had to opt for SAS posts. Raj has carried on fighting single-handedly for the recognition of this injustice.