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Employment Tribunal awards whistleblowing doctor £857,000

A doctor who lost his job after making whistleblowing disclosures has been awarded more than £857,000 by an Employment Tribunal.

Kevin Beatt, a cardiology surgeon, had been found by an earlier tribunal hearing to have been unfairly dismissed by Croydon Health Services NHS Trust after he voiced concerns about a patient’s death being linked to the hospital’s decision to suspend a nurse who should have taken the lead in the procedure, leaving him without capable assistance for the operation.

Employment Judge Sage, ruling at a hearing on compensation, awarded Dr Beatt compensation of £820,740.25 together with £25,000 for injury to feelings, £7,500 for aggravated damages and £3,870 for a basic award, making £857,110.25 in all.

The tribunal noted that Dr Beatt had struggled to find regular alternative medical work since being dismissed by the trust, because despite his renown in specialist cardiology he had had a potential General Medical Council investigation hanging over him.

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“Although the claimant had an international reputation as a ground breaking cardiologist, this was a person who had been dismissed and was subject to an investigation into his professional conduct, these were not circumstances that would place the claimant in a favourable position when applying for roles in competition with others within an NHS Trust,” the tribunal said.

It also noted that a press release issued by the trust after a coroner’s inquest into the patent’s death “would have been damaging to the Claimant’s reputation”.

Dr Beatt’s legal adviser Nationwide Employment Lawyers said at the time of the tribunal hearing which found in his favour: “Dr Beatt voiced his apprehension over the hospital’s efficiency in a conversation with a coroner before subsequently finding himself referred to the General Medical Council (GMC) by Croydon Health Services; the trust responsible for running the hospital.”

The GMC continued to investigate him after he was exonerated by the tribunal but he has since been told it will take no further action.

A spokesperson for Croydon Health Services NHS Trust said: “We are pleased that this aspect of the case can come to conclusion following the judgment.

“We strive to ensure our staff feel supported to raise concerns and we continue to foster a culture of openness at all levels. We have also appointed a team of designated ‘Speak Up Guardians’, including a doctor, nurse, therapist and manager, allowing all of our staff to share their views.”

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