09 August 2012
Cardiologist seeks discrimination damages through tribunal
An employment tribunal brought about on the grounds of alleged unfair dismissal and discrimination could result in a leading cardiologist being awarded up to £10 million in compensation.
Dr Raj Mattu has taken legal action against the NHS after he was fired from his £70,000-per annum role two years ago after being suspended on full pay for a period of eight years, according to the Daily Mail.
The heart specialist was initially placed on suspension in 2002 for whistleblowing after he raised concerns that overcrowding on wards at the Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry - which is managed by the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust - had caused at least two patients to pass away.
For instance, Dr Mattu claimed that one patient he was attempting to resuscitate died because the number of people in the vicinity prevented nurses from reaching him with potentially life-saving equipment.
Despite the fact that he and two senior colleagues lodged a serious clinical incident report following this incident, Dr Mattu alleges senior figures at the hospital ignored their complaint.
In addition, his request for bosses to put an end to a money and space-saving system whereby five beds were placed in space for four patients was also dismissed, despite the fact it was widely backed by his fellow professionals.
After receiving no response from the board and seeking the advice of bodies such as the General Medical Council and the British Medical Association, Dr Mattu decided to make his concerns public - a move he believes was the sole reason for his suspension and subsequent sacking.
The cardiologist has been widely supported by his colleagues after trust bosses ignored the outcome of a disciplinary inquiry in 2005, in which it was stated that Dr Mattu should be reinstated to his role.
And he has now decided to sue the body on the basis of both racial and disability discrimination - as he was in hospital when he was sacked in 2010 - and unfair dismissal, as well as the fact it failed to support him despite the law encouraging whistleblowing.
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Posted by Francesca Witney