Sick doctor wins claim for unfair dismissal

An experienced medical consultant was unfairly forced to quit his job with the NHS in 2010 after he was diagnosed as suffering from a severe medical ailment.

Dr Norman Milligan, a consultant neurologist with 37 years’ experience, was pressured into effectively retiring at the age of 59 by management at Poole NHS Foundation Trust after he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He had developed this after watching a relative die in intensive care in March of the same year and suffered from anxiety, night-terrors and flashbacks. He started treatment after his diagnosis but was signed off work after the symptoms did not abate.

In December 2010 he was informed that he was to be presented with two choices – he could either take early retirement or undergo a formal hearing to determine whether he should be dismissed because of his inability to carry out his duties. One of the management team, Mr Talbot, apparently informed Dr Milligan prior to the appeal against his dismissal that he was being presented with the option of retirement so that his career didn’t “end like this”.

The Employment Tribunal determined that the resignation of Dr Milligan constituted constructive unfair dismissal. The evidence presented to it showed, the Employment Tribunal believed, that the decision to uphold Dr Milligan’s dismissal had already been taken prior to the hearing, rendering it substantively unfair.

If you believe that you may have a claim for unfair dismissal contact one of our expert solicitors today.