- Dr Stephen Frost, who called for inquest in Dr David Kelly, sacked by MoD
- Allegedly prescribed maimed veteran six times normal dose of morphine
- But soldier denies he had higher dose – which was left out of army report
- Dr Frost claims he was sacked for blowing whistle on MoD drugs racket
Dr Stephen Frost is accusing the Ministry of Defence of wrongful dismissal after he was sacked from the medical corpse
A Ministry of Defence medical official denied ‘deliberately suppressing’ crucial facts in a report which led to the dismissal of an Army whistleblower, a tribunal has heard.
Dr Stephen Frost – who led calls for an inquest into the death or weapons expert Dr David Kelly – was sacked after a maimed Afghanistan war veteran was wrongly prescribed morphine six times his normal dose.
The 69-year-old, who neither prescribed nor dispensed the tablets, was fired by the Ministry of Defence for allegedly not telling the soldier that he had been issued with the wrong tablets and was at risk of overdosing.
But an employment tribunal heard that the serviceman – whose left leg was blown off by an IED – insisted he had never been given 60mg tablets of powerful morphine sulphate.
He claimed he had only ever been given the correct strength of 10mg pills and Dr Frost said he did not show withdrawal symptoms – indicating he had never taken the higher dose.
The hearing in Manchester was told that if he had taken the wrong dosage he would have consumed 120 mgs of morphine every day for 16 days.
Dr Frost believes he was dismissed by text while on holiday for blowing the whistle on a drugs rackets at an Army base.
He has testified that he believed the soldier may have illegally sold the wrongly administered stronger pills on the black market and told colleagues there should have been a police investigation.
In a dramatic twist, Samantha Cotgrave, the former deputy clinical director of Army Primary Health Care Services (North), admitted that the soldier’s insistence he had not been given 60 mg were not in her interim report into the incident.
Dr Stephen Frost (pictured, left with solicitor Helen Clifford) led calls for an inquest into the death or weapons expert Dr David Kelly (right) and claims he was sacked for blowing the whistle on a drugs racket
She also admitted that she had failed to record a meeting between Dr Frost and the soldier outside a pharmacy where the patient was shown a distinctive orange 60mg tablet – as opposed to a brown 10mg one – and had told the doctor he had never seen one before.
John Hendy QC, for Dr Frost, accused Mrs Cotgrave of ‘having a closed mind’ and had deliberately suppressed the details in her report which was submitted to senior officers at Weeton Barracks, near Blackpool.
He told her: ‘You deliberately suppressed the fact that the patient had categorically denied receiving 60mg tablets. It did not fit in with the picture you were trying to paint.’
Mrs Cotgrave replied: ‘It was not intentional. I was not trying to paint a picture. There was overwhelming evidence that there had been a dispensing error.
‘The only tablets he could have had were 60mg because they were the only ones dispensed on that date.’
John Hendy QC, for Dr Frost, accused Mrs Cotgrave of ‘having a closed mind’ and had deliberately suppressed the details in her report which was submitted to senior officers at Weeton Barracks (pictured), near Blackpool.
But Mr Hendy challenged her: ‘Because you were convinced, you were prepared to leave out evidence to the contrary.’
Mrs Cotgrave said that her report was attached to all the witness statements so that the three senior officers could make a final decision.
Mr Hendy said: ‘So it was up to the decision makers to extract this from all the statements?’
Mrs Cotgrave replied: ‘It was not intentionally excluded. It was not my intention. I was not trying to portray a picture.’
She agreed that her report included a reference to Dr Frost not being ‘sure enough’ that an error had been made and pointing out that he was not the patient’s lead clinician.
Dr Frost, from Colwyn Bay in North Wales, claims he was dismissed because he had uncovered a potentially criminal appropriation of morphine at the military base.
He says that senior officers then tried to smear him by labelling him a conspiracy theorist and a Russian sympathiser when he challenged his dismissal.
The tribunal continues.