NHS doctor wins long-running unfair dismissal case

MoJA doctor has won a long-running unfair dismissal case in the Employment Tribunal after he was dismissed in 2010 on allegations that he had breached confidentiality and that he had bullied junior staff members.

Dr Raj Mattu worked at the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust until he was dismissed in 2010 on allegations that he had breached confidentiality and bullied junior staff members. Prior to his dismissal, however, Dr Mattu complained on several occasions to hospital management about the “four in five” bed policy that the hospital had implemented (where five beds were placed in a ward that was only meant to take four) and made a claim to the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal and dismissal and detriment due to protected disclosure after his dismissal in 2010.

After a four-year legal battle the Employment Tribunal issued its judgment earlier this month, holding that Dr Mattu had been unfairly dismissed by the NHS Trust and that he had been subjected to detriments on the grounds of his protected disclosure by the actions that the Trust had taken towards him after he had made the protected disclosures (i.e. had made the complaints regarding the “five in four” rule).

Employment Judge Pauline Hughes, who chaired the Employment Tribunal at Birmingham,  stated that Dr Mattu had been subjected to “many detriments” by the trust as a consequence of being a whistle-blower and that the allegations that had been made about his conduct had been “serious” and had “attracted a great deal of media coverage and public interest”. She also ruled that the surgeon had been treated “unfavourably” by the Trust as a result of a disability that he possessed. However, Employment Judge Hughes went on to dismiss Dr Mattu’s claims of race discrimination.

Dr Mattu commented on the Tribunal’s findings that “I am relieved that I have won my case. My treatment by the trust over the past 13 years has damaged my health, my professional reputation and my livelihood and its effects on my personal and private life have been devastating. I can only hope that the NHS learns from my case and starts to listen to its doctors and nurses who raise concerns.”