A DOCTOR who worked at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital for the past 20 years has broken his silence for the first time since being sacked.

After consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Martyn Pitman was fired by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) in March, more than 1,000 former patients and colleagues have shown their support and protested the NHS decision.

Ex-colleagues and patients believe the consultant was forced to leave due to speaking up on patient safety and midwives’ rights and calling out unsafe equipment.

READ MORE: Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust fire 'life-saving' doctor Martyn Pitman

An appeal hearing was held on Tuesday, May 9 but on Thursday, May 25 Mr Pitman announced it was unsuccessful, posting a statement in the Facebook Group ‘Friends of Martyn Pitman’ which has seen hundreds of messages of how the doctor performed miracles.

The statement read: “It is with a sense of immense sadness that I announce receipt of formal notification from HHFT of my dismissal from the organisation, following 20 years of consultant service.

“My appeal against this decision was not upheld.

“I am immensely grateful to Lynda Emptage for setting up this FB Group and for the truly humbling level of support posted through your messages over the last few weeks. Each one has meant so very much to myself, Liz, Emma and Charlotte, who have sadly been forced to endure so very much over the last four years.

“I wish to express my love and heart-felt thanks to each of them and also to our wider family and wonderful friends, who have stood by us and supported us through the very toughest of times. I also wish to extend my sincere thanks and gratitide to Daniel Pebody at the BMA whose support and guidance throughout this protracted process has been beyond invaluable.

“I now stare at the harsh reality of the termination of the career that I cherished and the loss of my dream job, serving the community of the city in which I was born, grew-up, educated and trained. I have been forced to pay the ultimate professional price for simply doing what I believed and indeed still believe was the right thing to do and was my basic professional responsibility.

“It is abundantly clear from messages posted through this medium that many others, both locally and nationally, have suffered similar, if not actually worse, experiences to me. I sincerely hope that my actions now will, in some way, ease their suffering, give them 'a voice' and may prevent others in future from being treated in the same manner.

“Thank you all so very much again for your support.”

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A spokesperson for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) said: 

Spokesperson at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The trust actively encourages staff to speak up when they have concerns, and takes all complaints, including grievances and whistleblowing, extremely seriously.

"Each is handled impartially, professionally and in line with robust policies. In certain cases, this includes the commissioning of independent reports/ reviews by outside experts to ensure the highest levels of scrutiny. In addition, every effort is made to support the health and wellbeing of those involved in what can be a challenging process.

“No member of staff has ever been dismissed as a result of whistleblowing or raising concerns around patient safety.

“Unfortunately we are unable to comment further at this time due to ongoing processes.”

After hearing the appeal had failed, Mr Pitman also posted words from the British Medical Association, which together with the doctor's legal team will be "considering next steps while continuing with preparations for an ongoing whistleblowing claim in the employment tribunal" in October.

BMA chair Professor Phil Banfield said: “It is unacceptable that a doctor cannot raise concerns about the safe care of their patients or of hospital procedures without the very real possibility they will lose their job and suffer unimaginable stress across often long and drawn-out legal processes.

"Decisions like the one in the case of Mr Martyn Pitman rarely result in improvements to patient care and do even less to encourage other doctors or healthcare staff from speaking up at a time when it is crucial that someone does. This is not to mention the profound and often devastating impact they have on a doctor’s personal and working life and the knock-on impact on their family.

“Unfortunately, Mr Pitman’s case is not isolated and highlights a very worrying culture in our NHS – a culture of punishing those who dare to speak out about failings in patient safety. This needs to change and the BMA will continue to be at the forefront of supporting doctors like Mr Pitman and campaigning for cultural and legal reform.”