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Archive for August 18th, 2011

Following the dismissal of former Chief Executive, John Watkinson, an employment tribunal ruled that he had been sacked because he planned to act as a ‘whistleblower’. This was after he had voiced concerns about the legality of plans to move some cancer services out of Cornwall to Devon.

The trust accepted that he had been unfairly dismissed but appealed the ‘whistleblower’ element of the judgment.

The Employment Appeals Tribunal dismissed their appeal giving the following reasons for their decision:

•    The disclosure made by Mr Watkinson of advice which indicated that the Trust would be breaking the law if it did not undertake a public consultation on proposed changes to services affecting certain cancer patients was a ‘protected disclosure’ for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996;

•    There was clear evidence from which the Tribunal could infer that the South West Strategic Health Authority, who was against holding a public consultation, applied pressure on the Trust, whom it supervised, to dismiss Mr Watkinson for making the disclosure;

•    The Tribunal had reached decisions which were open to them and had given full and adequate reasons for their decisions.

Case reference: Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust v Mr John Watkinson

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