From Hannah Rodger today:
A DOCTOR who tried to raise the alarm about problems with Scotland’s flagship super hospital suffered post-traumatic stress as a result of the ordeal. Dr Christine Peters, 45, said she became severely unwell after years of raising concerns with management about what she felt the problems were at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH).
I have some experience of this.
In 2014, my research into BBC and STV coverage of the run-up to the Referendum, led to the BBC reporting me to my employer, the University of the West of Scotland, for ‘bringing both the BBC and the University into disrepute.’
I was worried for a bit until my employer decided not to sanction me but also to disassociate itself from my research.
In 2016, I reported the University of the West of Scotland’s board to itself, to the Scottish Government and to the Public Services Ombudsman, for the misuse of public funds on in particular, vanity projects enabling senior staff to holiday at the taxpayer’s expense in some of the more attractive parts of the world, from Berlin to the Seychelles. The UWS board denied it all and the other two made it clear that universities can do what they like.
The Scottish press would not touch the story. The SNP MPs in the area around the University would do nothing.
An attempt to bully me into taking part and then to stop me telling colleagues, about the project to set-up a Berlin Campus with a creepy shell organisation, linked to NATO, but rejected by other universities and even by wikipedia, triggered my whistle-blowing. I feared damage to the reputation of the University.
I still have the document. If you’d like to read it, email me.
At the end of 2016, I retired 6 months before my 65th birthday. Previously as a professor, enjoying my job, I had intended to work on for as many years as I could. I had to retire because I could not stay awake at work having developed sleep apnoea.
After retirement, a difficult period of addiction to painkillers and the abuse of alcohol and sleeping tablets followed. Not easily, I pulled myself out of that two years ago.
Who is to blame? Me, almost entirely. I had an addictive personality. My treatment by the BBC and by my employers was no doubt contributory but so were other stressful factors in life of the kind most experience.
I don’t know what the experience of these two doctors was but their reactions to criticism by managers or by colleagues is essentially their own. While they do, absolutely, deserve our empathy and help from the NHS in dealing with the symptoms, the individual reactions to stress of two cannot be reasonably used as the only evidence of some kind of dysfunctionality in a massive complex organisation which judging by repeated polls, is held in high esteem by thousands of employees and by millions of patients.