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Friday, 3 August, 2001, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Doctors back down in whistle-blower case
Walsgrave Hospital
Mr D'Sa has returned to work at Walsgrave Hospital
Hospital consultants have rejected plans for a vote of no confidence in managers over their handling of a whistle-blower.

Doctors at Walsgrave Hospital, Coventry, rejected the proposals by two to one during a vote on Thursday evening.

Consultants had described the delays in handling the case of surgeon Alban Barros D'Sa as "unacceptable".

At the meeting the hospital trust chairman admitted there had been failings in the way the case had been handled.

Alban Barros D'Sa
The surgeon raised concerns about standards

Senior doctors had considered a confidence vote in three executives of the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.

But at the meeting consultants agreed that measures have now been taken to tackle their concerns.

Edwin Borman, a consultant who leads the doctor negotiating team, said: "This was definitely the responsible decision to make.

"Consultants made clear their concerns about recent events and felt it was inappropriate to go into direct conflict with management at a time when everybody needed to work together."

Failings admitted

"The problems were openly and honestly aired and I am confident these will be addressed," he said.

The group considered a confidence vote in the chairman of the trust board, Gary Reay, together with the chief executive, David Loughton, and the director of personnel, Roger Faulkner.

Mr Borman said: "Mr Reay addressed the consultants' meeting and admitted failings in handling the D'Sa case.

"He admitted publically that there has been management failings in the way in which the disciplinary process has been applied."

Two other motions considered at the Thursday meeting - to blacklist job adverts for the trust and to set up an independent media contact for doctors - were rejected without a vote.

Court of Appeal

Mr D'Sa was suspended in October 1999 after expressing worries about the success rate of a bowel surgeon at the hospital.

The High Court and the Court of Appeal later ruled that 62-year-old Mr D'Sa should be reinstated but the trust refused.

Last month management reinstated the consultant after accepting the findings of an independent panel which looked into the matter.

Mr D'Sa has since returned to work.

Mr Borman said a team of consultants had now been given the responsibility of reviewing the disciplinary process.

The Royal College of Surgeons is also set to help in appointing a liaison officer to improve communication between medics and management.

See also:

06 Jul 01 | Health
Whistle-blower surgeon reinstated
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