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  • Martyn Pitman: I was sacked for speaking up about unsafe maternity care (The Times, 12 June 2023)

    • UK
    • Interviews and reflections
    • Pre-existing
    • Original author
    • Yes
    • Martyn Pitman
    • 12/06/23
    • Everyone


    An NHS consultant who was sacked after whistleblowing says it was because he raised concerns that “normal birth” ideology was putting the lives of women and babies at risk.

    Martyn Pitman, a respected obstetrician and gynaecologist, became a whistleblower to prevent “avoidable disasters” in NHS maternity care, but it cost him his career.

    Pitman lost his job last month after more than 20 years as a consultant at Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester. His bosses cited an “irretrievable breakdown in his relationship with management”.

    His dismissal caused outrage from hundreds of former patients and doctors’ leaders, who say it highlights an NHS culture of “punishing those who dare to speak out”.

    Martyn Pitman: I was sacked for speaking up about unsafe maternity care (The Times, 12 June 2023) https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/a437ce6c-089b-11ee-947c-69265173b330?shareToken=fd96cec31a7e7a5711520562c066cc7d
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    What concerns me most about this, far from uncommon, story is the #leadership aspect.
    There's always been challenges for #healthcare leaders. Challenges when there are widely different perspectives on a situation, when there is ambiguity, when there is disagreement on approaches, when different staff groups and professions have strong views etc.
    This needs strong and accountable leaders from the top down.
    ✔ Leaders who can negotiate across what is often a 'minefield'.
    ✔ Leaders who support and mentor those who work for them.
    ✔ Leaders who recognize that reputation is judged by what an organization actually does, NOT by what it says it does.
    ✔ Leaders who are prepared to challenge those who set the strategy, and those in power who feel they are 'untouchable'.
    ✔Leaders who avoid micromanaging, even when they themselves are being micromanaged.
    ✔Leaders who treat and value everyone as equals, from the cleaner to the SoS for Health.
    ✔ Leaders who are in their posts because they believe that the #NHS 'belongs to the people'
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