The Mirror 17 February 2017 ALAN SELBY
Consultant neurosurgeon James Akinwunmi says after he made complaints on other doctors bosses closed ranks and forced him out
A former F1 doctor who turned whistleblower was sacked by NHS hospital bosses.
Consultant neurosurgeon James Akinwunmi says after he made complaints on other doctors bosses closed ranks and forced him out.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust are now poised to appeal against a tribunal ruling which found he was unfairly dismissed.
The tribunal ruled he had not been victimised on racial grounds or because of whistleblowing, but said the Trust had unfairly sacked him.
It said BSUH had not tried to address his concerns about returning to a hostile work environment, in which he had become “isolated” by other medics.
This was after Mr Akinwunmi, who previously supervised medical treatment for Formula 1 racing teams, claimed NHS emergencies had been turned away while on-call staff treated private patients.
He alleged they were fraudulently claiming double pay – but says his complaints were ignored.
A Trust investigation found there was no case to answer.
Colleagues claimed he had issued threats of violence against them, but no evidence was found to support the claims.
Mr Akinwunmi said as the spat deepened bosses and regulators hounded him over claims he had accidentally removed a healthy portion of a patient’s brain during surgery.
A High Court ruling later found it was a one-off mistake that should not have triggered restrictions on his practice and awarded £16,000 in costs against the GMC.
But he had taken time off as the feud with BSUH doctors deepened.
The Trust accused him of fleeing to the Cayman Islands, where he has a practice, and missing important meetings, and sacked him from his role in October 2014.
The Trust sacked him after claiming he had spent too long away on unauthorised leave, but he claimed he during this period he could not return because of a hostile workplace. The employment tribunal ruled the Trust should have made further efforts to facilitate his return and mediate following the dispute,so said he was unfairly dismissed.
A spokesperson for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals confirmed plans were afoot to appeal against the ruling.