Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctors say they were bullied by managers trying to identify whistleblower

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 17 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m221
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A hospital trust fingerprinted staff and asked for samples of their handwriting after the family of a woman who died following surgery received an anonymous letter highlighting mistakes in her care.

The whistleblower’s letter, which alleged that “something had gone wrong during surgery,” prompted the coroner examining Susan Warby’s death to instruct Sussex Police and West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to investigate.

Doctors accused managers of using “bullying and intimidatory” tactics in their attempt to discover the whistleblower’s identity. The letter alleged that glucose instead of saline had been mistakenly used in a drip into one of Warby’s arteries. She died, aged 57, …

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