Talbot Clinic

Warminster Rd, Bath BA2 6SH
01225 426 222
Emergencies 07802 760 780
toby@tobytalbot.co.uk

The Response from The Talbot Clinic

After watching the report regarding the conduct of the Royal United Hospital Trust I felt compelled to make comment which is to be regarded purely as my own personal observations, insight and reflections of the events over the last 3 years.


I am Clinical Director of The Talbot Clinic in Bath. We provide facial aesthetic and specialist dental surgery services as an independent facility.

Serryth joined our team over 7 years ago after his appointment as a Consultant in the Maxillo-facial Unit at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

Throughout his time with us he has been the most charming and inspirational contributor with staff and patients alike. Putting it simply, he’s a lovely man who deeply cares. He is a gentle giant with the sweetest of an Irish lilt reflecting an innate kindness and gentle disposition. In essence, he’s just a nice and genuine bloke.

He facilitated the establishment of a brand-new unit in the Bath Hospital for which he proactively raised £1.0 Million towards the project of £2.7M and introduced a state of the art 3-D imaging facility to plan facial reconstructive surgery that led him to being appointed Lead Clinician by the Chief Executive.  Well justified in view of his extraordinary commitment and dedication he was awarded the Team Leader Award by the Trust in January 2020 at the Assembly Rooms in Bath.

It became clear that when he first expressed concerns regarding patient safety, this caused embarrassment to senior colleagues and management.

Ranks closed rapidly and a concerted effort was made to discredit the “Whistleblower” rather than address the issues that had caused him concern.

A former police officer was commissioned by the MD of the Hospital Trust to gather information on the Department “Culture” of the Maxillo-facial Team. In essence, this simply became a “witch hunt” focusing on Serryth. A small number of individuals who were embarrassed by the concerns expressed by Serryth and wanted to effect distraction from their own personal and institutional incompetencies. This led to the entire exercise ignoring the patient safety concerns raised by Serryth but focused entirely upon digging as much dirt to discredit him by individuals who had an axe to grind.

It also has to be noted that if the Trust had paid attention to due diligence, they could have found out from the Home Office that the Police Officer had left the Gloucestershire Constabulary after facing the IPPC for gross misconduct in his handling of a case of gang rape. It is common knowledge that the IPPC rarely charge against any police officer but will facilitate their immediate exit from the police force to avoid any “bad press” that could undermine public confidence. It also avoids any embarrassing explanations be given to the Home Office ensuring Police Chief Commissioners remain squeaky clean.

The same former police officer has been commissioned by a Gloucester Hospital Trust to “investigate” other whistleblowers having been recommended by the former MD at the RUH. The same MD who now sits as Chairman on the Integrated Care Board. Not unsurprisingly, the former Director of People at the RUH was a former Police Officer in Gloucester has now been appointed Director of People at Gloucester General Hospital. Likewise, the former Director of HR at the RUH has since been appointed Director of HR in Gloucester. This would indicate a cosy relationship between the RUH and Gloucester Trusts that warrant further scrutiny regarding due diligence policy. Rats scurrying for cover from a sinking ship comes to mind.

It comes as no surprise that it is only now that the concerns of 3 years ago have only just been brought to the attention of the Royal College of Surgeons as the Chief Executive of the Trust has been caught wrong footed and is trying to stick her finger in the leaking dam.

As a former Hospital Consultant, I myself have witnessed the vagaries of the preoccupations of management to become pathologically focused on meeting Department of Health waiting list targets that can affect political embarrassment to our “Political Masters”. Quite obviously, clinical priorities should only be made by Senior Clinicians so as not to overlook those patients with serious clinical need such as cancer rather than worrying about large numbers of patients who need teeth extracted.

When Serryth had the temerity to raise concerns about a patient losing her sight in one eye that he considered was wholly avoidable, it wasn’t long before the senior clinician concerned wanted to distract any subsequent investigations especially when the patient started pursuing litigation. Shortly after Serryth was ousted, the clinician concerned was “promoted” to lead Clinician for the Unit by the Chief Executive of the Trust.

This decision was made by the same Chief Executive, who shortly after receiving a recent damning CQC report on 18 October 2023 indicating improvements required in responsiveness, leadership and patient safety concerns at the hospital, felt justified to award herself a significant £30,000 pay increase; to keep up with her peers, presumably for a job well done.

Needless to say, we will be keeping Serryth as a valued member of our team. He is not a bully nor remotely intimidating.

I have no doubt that these sentiments may not be shared by those whose incompetencies were revealed but have been kept out of sight from the public domain to avoid “loss of public confidence”.

I expect that if management are put under public scrutiny, we will be faced with the endemic obfuscations that have become commonplace from many public institutions when caught out eg:  Covid enquiry, Mid Staffordshire, Bristol Paediatric Cardiac mortality rates, Procurement of PPE, etc., etc.

Finally, I have witnessed the effects of the personal victimisation directed at Serryth and his family over the last 3 years. What the Trust has never been able to grasp is that former Champion rowers for the Commonwealth team representing Great Britain are made of robust constitutions. It has taken the courage of his convictions of never losing sight of fighting for patient welfare to battle with the Malignant Management at the RUH to not only raise his head above the parapet but to keep it there.

In my opinion, as cancerous as it is, Management at the RUH and Gloucester need cutting out.

Your sincerely
Toby Talbot BDS MSD FDS RCS
Specialist in Restorative Dentistry, Prosthodontics, Periodontics and Endodontics.
Clinical Director
The Talbot Clinic, Bath