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NHS whistleblower claims trainee doctor took own life due to stress levels at crisis-hit health board

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

A TRAINEE doctor took their own life because of stress levels at a crisis-hit health board, it has been claimed.

Last week The Sunday Post revealed how Munwar Hussain, a whistleblower champion at NHS Tayside, quit the board after claiming a string of serious issues were being ignored.

A ministerial statement by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman in Holyrood today saw Labour MSPAnas Sarwar reveal more claims about the case.

Mr Sarwar read out sections of a letter by Mr Hussain which claims allegations brought to him by a junior doctor relating to the abuse of trainees were not taken seriously enough.

Medication dosage levels and executive pay were among the other issues raised by Mr Hussain.

Mr Sarwar told MSPs that he had seen a letter from Mr Hussain sent to Ms Freeman explaining his reasons for leaving the board.

In that letter, the whistleblower champion revealed how he was told by an ex-doctor in training that they left the NHS due “to issues of systematic bullying and negative cliques”.

Mr Hussain wrote: “Further there were claims that people were raising issues, but these were not being acted upon by managers, including allegations in the email that a previous trainee took their own life and the stress was unbearable for some.”

Mr Sarwar described it as a “serious set of allegations”.

He continued: “He (Mr Hussain) goes on to say that he asked for this to be raised at a board meeting but was told that he could not.

“He attempted twice to meet the strategic director of workforce in August, but both times the meetings were cancelled.

“And he did eventually raise the matter at a staff governance committee, but felt in his words that this is ‘viewed as an ongoing issue that is tolerated’.”

Ms Freeman said she was confident that all of the allegations made by Mr Hussein were being dealt with properly by NHS Tayside.

She said: “I take all concerns that are raised with me directly or by another means very seriously indeed.

“In the specific instance that Mr Sarwar quotes… the appropriate place for the whistleblowing champion to raise those matters is indeed in the staff governance committee and not in the wider public board meeting.”

She added: “The specific allegations that were reported via that whistleblowing are currently under investigation.

“This chamber should rest assured that I will continue to monitor how these matters progress.”