Whistleblower Lancaster surgeon publishes book on experiences in NHS

A Lancaster surgeon who blew the whistle on allegations of medical negligence has written a book about his experiences.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 10:54 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 11:54 am
Consultant urologist Peter Duffy.
Consultant urologist Peter Duffy.

Peter Duffy was a consultant urologist at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust when he spoke out about his concerns.

His book “Whistle in the Wind: Life, death, detriment and dismissal in the NHS” is available through Amazon and was last week mentioned in the House of Commons.

In the book, Mr Duffy writes about his 35 years of experience on the front line of the NHS, charting his career pathway from auxiliary nurse and unskilled operating theatre orderly to senior consultant surgeon and head of department.

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Peter Duffy's new book.

In 2015, and after blowing the whistle on a series of near misses, he reluctantly reported an avoidable death, cover-up and ongoing surgical risk-taking to the Care Quality Commission.

Mr Duffy told the Lancaster Guardian last year how a 10-year campaign against him left him ill and feeling unable to work in the NHS again. He said he had been torn away from his family and his professional career left in tatters.

The 57-year-old father-of-three was labelled racist by colleagues after he raised concerns to the Care Quality Commission about alleged medical malpractice at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Mr Duffy was later awarded a £102,000 payout by an employment tribunal in Manchester.

In a statement to the tribunal, Mr Duffy claimed to have witnessed a series of errors including several missed cancers.

In one case, Mr Duffy claimed a major clinical error was narrowly avoided when he spotted a patient was due to have the wrong kidney removed. Another alleged error saw a young teenager wrongly diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, resulting in the removal of a testicle. And Mr Duffy said the avoidable death of one patient led to instructions from the coroner not being obeyed.

Mr Duffy said he was subjected to “malicious, toxic and false” allegations over 10 years – none of them substantiated.

In his witness statement to the tribunal, Mr Duffy said that since 2016 he had not been back to work anywhere in the trust.

He later went to work on the Isle of Man – which has a separate health system from the UK – which forced him to live separately from his family and friends.