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Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007, 19:16 GMT 20:16 UK
Suspension lifted on heart doctor
Dr Raj Mattu
Dr Raj Mattu has been allowed to return to work
A heart specialist who has been suspended from work since 2002 has been allowed to return to work.

Dr Raj Mattu was suspended from the former Walsgrave Hospital, in Coventry, after a junior doctor alleged he had harassed him.

Dr Mattu claimed he was being punished for speaking out publicly about conditions for patients in the hospital's wards.

The NHS trust which runs the hospital has always denied Dr Mattu's claim.

A review in 2004 cleared University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust of responsibility for any deaths in relation to overcrowding.

'Relief and joy'

Dr Mattu's supporters held a protest against his suspension outside the hospital in June 2006.

The Walsgrave Hospital has since closed and been replaced by the new University Hospital.

Dr Mattu said: "It is a very big day for me after having five-and-a-half years taken from me.

"I find it difficult to express the relief and joy that I feel on being told by the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust that my suspension is lifted with immediate effect.

"I think it is no coincidence that this just follows the appointment of a new management team."

Dr Mattu still has to face a final disciplinary hearing.

In a statement, the NHS trust said: "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."

The case has cost the NHS millions of pounds in wages and legal fees

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