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Little Stories of Life and Death @NHSWhistleblowr [Kindle Edition]

Dr David Drew
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Book Description

'The NHS is a wonderful institution. It largely provides what its founders intended: medical care for all from cradle to grave, free at the point of use and funded by general taxation. Nevertheless, it’s not perfect. Scandals at the Bristol Children’s Heart Unit and, more recently, at Stafford General Hospital, Furness General Hospital and Heart of England Foundation Trust, have shaken public confidence. Abysmal care and, worse, the cover-up of patient harm and avoidable death, have come to light. It is against this background that I offer my own story. I was one of those doctors who spoke up for patients and suffered the consequences…'

The scandals of poor care and repeated cover-ups in the NHS in recent years have raised serious questions about the mistreatment of NHS whistleblowers. This book is autobiographical and offers the first detailed account of the ruin of a highly competent senior doctor who blew the whistle.

Dr David Drew was a NHS consultant at Walsall Manor Hospital for over 19 years, including 7 spent as head of the paediatric department, before ongoing concerns over the state of poor care led him to become a whistleblower. This put him on a collision course with senior NHS hospital managers. Removed as head of department, he was suspended on trumped up charges, faced allegations of mental illness and disciplinary action and was dismissed for Gross Misconduct and Insubordination.

David’s eye-opening account gives a unique insight into the NHS procedures that are used to dispose of senior management’s critics – at the cost of patient care.

Product Description


There are no pseudonyms here, just glaring honesty backed up by thousands of pages of supporting documents and other evidence. Given the fate that befalls most NHS whistleblowers, it is brave almost beyond belief. Drew is the doctor who wouldn't be silenced. And he deserves to be listened to. The truth and reconciliation the NHS so badly needs starts here. Read it and speak. --Phil Hammond, doctor, journalist, broadcaster, medical correspondent for Private Eye and Patron of Patients' First

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 847 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Matador (12 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KBB4Q3A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #41,206 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving story, well told 2 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
David's honest and humorous account deserves to be widely read, but more importantly to be reflected upon by those who manage public services. His is a story that while being over 300 pages long I found myself completing over one Sunday.
It has the power to make you rage, laugh and cry. I hope it also will have the power to inspire change. Its story of dysfunctional and self serving management silencing its critics should be "unbelievable". However, it has the ring of truth, and provides a compelling case for better protection of whistler blowers. If we as a society, patients and service users wish to benefit from the protection that whistle blowers provide we have a duty to ensure that the whistle blower does not bear the cost. If "All clinicians must speak up for patients when they witness poor quality care." then those clinicians need to be heard and not silenced. David's voice in the story so far has generally fallen on deaf ears. I pray that in this extraordinary and brave account it may now be listened to.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Dr. Peter Davies TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a good account of Dr David Drew's experiences over his career as a paediatrician. He writes well and clearly and gives a straightforward narrative about his development as a person and as a doctor. It's clear from the book that Dr Drew is a good and conscientious doctor who treated his patients and colleagues fairly and equally.

This base makes his account of what happened to him in the last few years of his career in which management turned against him and eventually dismissed him very credible. There's something wrong in a system in which good senior doctors can come to be seen as an enemy or obstacle that needs to be removed, rather than as a resource to be used to help patients and the next generation of doctors coming through.

I admire Dr Drew's integrity, but I'm not sure I wouldn't have assessed the situation and taken the settlement he was offered. Anyway he was dismissed and this book records the story in detail and it doesn't show the management at the hospital in a good light. The minor problems magnified into major issues, and the use of "external expert reviews" to compensate for management failings are well described. As so often the information needed was available in the staff of the organisation all along- but the managers didn't want to ask them for it or hear it or acknowledge it. The bearer of bad news was seen as the problem, not the bad news he or she was bringing. Similar themes came out of the Francis report about Mid-Staffordshire Hospital.

David Drew has written an excellent book, that is an important book about his life, but beyond that a rather sad portrait of relationships between professionals within a hospital- and the risks many doctors are working against these days- and how these distract and detract from the practice of good medicine.

I hope he has a good retirement, and does well with this book.

Recommended to NHS doctors and managers alike.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable read for any NHS employee 28 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
You may think "it'll never happen to me" and David Drew believed this, right up to the end of his book. But the sad truth is that The NHS love to drag squeaky clean employees through the mud. This book will ring true with anyone who has ever tried to point out a problem or shortfall in the NHS, and it's also a reminder that the high and mighty within NHS trusts will stop at nothing to protect their reputation, even if this means covering up horrific things and accusing hardworking, valuable colleagues of terrible things. The blank denial of any issues by Sue James is absolutely typical of NHS managers who are informed of a problem. Ignore, ignore, ignore, then shoot the messenger. It's a scary world out there. This is a sad story, and Dr Drew himself admits that he struggles with moving through the grief process. But there are points at which he lets himself down, when he should have moved on with grace. Yes, his primary intention ws the care of sick children, but when it became blindingly obvious that he was losing his job and being cast as a crazy villain, it was time to stop reinforcing this image with his own behaviour. This is what being vilified for doing the right thing does to good, sane people. It stops them seeing sense. It's tragic. The only way I can see forward is that the NHS needs to remove conflicts of interest, by separating responsibility for maintaining a facade of being a successful trust, from the responsibility for dealing with genuine problems within that trust. Only then will genuine problems be dealt with appropriately, and with integrity. Whilst trusts are run as corrupt businesses, the plight of patients and staff will continue to be ignored and concealed. All the best to Dr Drew and his family.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Swifty
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has to be on of the most harrowing accounts of how today's N.H.S. hospital management can fabricate stories and tell downright lies about someone in order to get rid of them. Having myself worked in the N.H.S. for 30 years, and having read this book, I find myself agreeing with his accounts of day to day working life. For example, those who are its senior managers work in a totally different hospital to those who work on the shop floor, although it is the same environment!

David Drew talks about incidents of bullying of his staff by middle managers within the Walsall Hospital N.H.S. Trust. I can confirm, and I make know apologies that bullying is rife in today's N.H.S. They say there is a policy against it - I would like to see it!

As a writer myself, and having written extensively about those who practice medicine, I have a great understanding the pressures doctors and physicians find themselves under; how the N.H.S. is all target driven, i.e. time management. Therefore when patient safety is compromised and someone like David Drew speaks out and nothing is done, of course he will eventually speak out i.e., whistle blow.

I admire this gentleman, because after all, all he was doing was looking after his patients.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An NHS Treasure....
Little Stories of Life and Death is an excellent and highly engaging read, by an author who has a long span of NHS organisational memory. Read more
Published 3 days ago by IanA2
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Fascinating - interesting read!
Published 8 days ago by Devil
5.0 out of 5 stars David's book exposes the appalling treatment of good doctors when they...
David's book exposes the appalling treatment of good doctors when they speak up for patient safety. I am a member of the public but have seen at first hand the dreadful treatment... Read more
Published 21 days ago by D Havercroft
5.0 out of 5 stars fab read. couldnt put it down...
Fabulous Book... WELL DONE Dr Drew for standing up to a bullying hirarchy!!!
Published 3 months ago by Lisa Jane Hickman
5.0 out of 5 stars THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars It is beautifully written as Phil Hammond comments in his foreword
This review is from: Little Stories of Life and Death @NHSwhistleblowr (Paperback)

I received Little Stories of Life and Death @NHSWhistleblowr as a present. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dr Paed
4.0 out of 5 stars An important book.
Extremely interesting but depressing. The high and mighty suppressing the truth and victimising the truth sayer. I take my hat off to the author. Read more
Published 3 months ago by P O
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of the agony and frustration honest workers have ...
Excellent account of the agony and frustration honest workers have trying to get well paid managers to do their job efficiently and properly. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sandra Dowle
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended reading for anyone who has in the past (like ...
Highly recommended reading for anyone who has in the past (like me) worked or is presently working in the NHS. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ms. Sheila A. Hyem Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling read
Brilliant book. So true of how Whistle-blowers are treated. A very therapeutic read for anyone who has reported concerns about the vulnerable; concerns that can mean life or death. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rhianydd
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