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UK NRI doctor, whistle-blower wins job back after 5 years battle


London, Aug. 02, 2007
Surinder Singh

NRI Dr Raj Mattu, 47, chief cardiologist at Walsgrave Hospital, in Coventry was suspended in February 2002 by hospital chiefs after he gave a TV interview- accused the Walsgrave Hospital of compromising care by cramming five patients into wards built for four. He also claimed that this is the reason, eleven people had died because resuscitation teams could not reach them in an emergency.

After suspension, he has spent the last five years at home on two thirds of his £110,000 salary.

The NHS trust said that he was suspended for bullying a junior doctor, but Dr Mattu has always vehemently denied this claim. A review in 2004 cleared University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust of responsibility for any deaths in relation to overcrowding.

The panel ruled two years ago that Dr Mattu be allowed to return to work, but the hospital refused to accept the ruling. The Walsgrave Hospital has since closed and been replaced by the new University Hospital.

His case was raised in the Hous of Commons by city MPs Jim Cunningham and Geoffrey Robinson on several occasions, but the Government refused to intervene in the matter.

Phil Townshend, chairman of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, had pledged to resolve Dr Mattu's suspension when he took over the post earlier this year. The lifting of his suspension comes just weeks after David Roberts, chief executive of the trust, confirmed plans to leave his role for a new job in America.

On Tuesday, Bosses of a new management team have finally agreed that he can return to his job:

  • After a series of meetings between representatives of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and consultant cardiologist Dr Raj Mattu, the trust has decided to lift Dr Mattu's suspension
  • The trust will be working with Dr Mattu to develop a retraining programme before he returns to clinical practice.

Dr Mattu said:

  • After having five and a half years of my life taken away from me, I struggle to express my relief and joy on being told that my suspension is at last lifted with immediate effect.
  • This has been a terrible ordeal for me, my fiancee, family and friends
  • I think it is no coincidence that this just follows the appointment of a new management team.

It is estimated that over £3 million cost to National Health Service.



Dr Raj Mattu and fiancee Sangeeta Harish