A U.K. hospital worker breaks into confidential records attempting to discredit a doctor

10 May 2013

By dave blackhurst

A MAJOR investigation is today under way to find a hospital worker behind a high-level security breach aimed at discrediting a doctor. The staff member obtained confidential information about three stroke patients – and then posed as a nurse to write letters raising concerns about their treatment to loved-ones. The letters targeted brain surgeon Changez Jadun, who was suspended for 18 months, but reinstated after safety allegations about his work were dismissed.

Now bosses at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire (UHNS) say he has become the victim of a ‘malicious’ smear campaign. They have passed on details to Staffordshire Police. The breach came to light last week and a national expert was brought in over the Bank Holiday to ensure it was not a genuine attempt to whistle-blow on Dr Jadun. Two of the patients are still in hospital and all the families have been contacted to reassure them the care was safe.

Medical director Dr Gavin Russell said: “The review found no harm had been caused to patients. This is a malicious and distorted attempt, almost certainly by a member of staff, to smear this hard-working doctor. “We have a clear whistle-blowing policy where staff can raise issues which we fully investigate. “But to breach confidentiality by obtaining the next-of-kin’s address and then incite them to take action is way beyond that. “I would ask whoever is sending these distressing letters to stop immediately, or contact me.”

Dr Jadun, who returned to work last summer, carried out the brain surgery using keyhole techniques on the patients during the last two weeks in April. One is from North Staffordshire and the others were referred from Crewe’s Leighton Hospital. The letters tell the relatives to contact the press, Ombudsman and their MP to highlight concerns. Accompanied by Sentinel cuttings on Dr Jadun, they say the patients had ‘undergone serious harm as a direct consequence of a brain surgical procedure’ but Oxford-based Dr Andrew Molyneux found the procedures had been carried out correctly after examining the patients’ notes and scans.

Together with two of the hospital’s specialists, he then reviewed 118 patients who had the same surgery in the previous 18 months. The operation is available in only four British hospitals and UHNS has the best rates of both survival and bringing patients back to full independent living within six months. But the culprit is believed to have deliberately selected the three patients as they were not making good progress following treatment.

Dr Indira Natarajan, clinical lead for stroke, said: “Suffering a stroke, and undergoing a subsequent operation, is a very distressing time. “To have then received a letter from someone falsely claiming the care was negligent goes against what all of us employed in the NHS stand for.” A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “We have not yet received correspondence from the UHNS. When we do, we will consider the appropriate way forward.”

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