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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 May 2006, 08:16 GMT 09:16 UK
Surgeon supporters lobbying trust
Dr Raj Mattu and files
Dr Mattu is seeking a High Court injunction
Campaigners for the reinstatement of a heart surgeon are to demonstrate at the hospital from where he has been suspended for four years.

Raj Mattu was suspended on full pay from Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry in 2002 amid allegations of bullying.

A panel ruling that he get a written warning, has not resolved the issue.

The hospital says by law it must hold another hearing, which cannot go ahead until High Court action by Dr Mattu is concluded. The protest is on Wednesday.

Dr Mattu had complained over the practise of putting five patients into bays designed for four beds.

Whistle-blowing

Shortly afterwards, in February 2002, he faced allegations he had bullied a junior colleague and was suspended - a move his supporters claim was in response to his whistle-blowing.

The hospital denied that a second clinical warning existed relating to deaths in the fifth bay, when in fact it did exist.

However, a review in 2004 found none of the deaths were preventable.

Walsgrave Hospital
Campaigners are angry that Dr Mattu remains suspended after four years

A disciplinary panel appointed by the trust sat to consider the bullying accusations in January 2005 against Dr Mattu, and ruled in May 2006 that some of the allegations were proven.

It recommended he should face the lowest penalty available, a first written warning.

The hospital's trust has not implemented the ruling, saying it is legally obliged to hold another hearing.

Breach of contract

Dr Mattu is seeking an injunction against the hospital for breach of contract at the High Court.

It alleges that the accusations against him have been repeatedly changed and that the chief executive, David Roberts, was intent on a new hearing that could still lead to his dismissal.

We hope... we just might be able to change their stubborn minds
Richard Harding

The trust said it has explained to Dr Mattu why it cannot implement the panel's findings, and has filed its defence to the High Court.

The cost of the suspension has been estimated at 1.5m.

Richard Harding, from the Raj Mattu Reinstatement Committee said they wanted to push the trust into action.

""There has been an extensive and long enquiry, and at the outcome of the enquiry, Andrew Stafford QC and his tribunal decided that Dr Mattu should be reinstated - and they (the trust) have at this stage ignored that.

"We hope that by this demonstration, just before they have a trust board meeting, we just might be able to change their stubborn minds."


SEE ALSO:
MP demands end to surgeon's case
07 Feb 06 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Delays in deciding medic's future
29 May 04 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Calls for suspended surgeon's return
12 Dec 03 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Summit over suspended surgeon
28 Nov 03 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Suspended doctor resumes teaching
04 Aug 03 |  West Midlands
Supporters back surgeon
08 Sep 02 |  England


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