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Trust board backs medical director who wrongly dismissed whistleblower

A trust board has backed the medical director who oversaw the dismissal of a whistleblower in a case linked to patient deaths.

Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust told HSJ John Knighton had the full support of the organisation when asked if he faced any censure over the wrongful dismissal of a consultant who raised the alarm about a surgical technique.

Jasna Macanovic last month won her employment tribunal against the trust with the judge calling its conduct “very one-sided, reflecting a determination to remove [her] as the source of the problem”.

The judgment found that the disciplinary process Dr Knighton oversaw was “a foregone conclusion” and as such had broken employment rules. The nephrologist was twice offered the opportunity to resign with a good reference, once during her disciplinary hearing and again on the day the outcome of that hearing was delivered.

The trust told HSJ nothing in the judgment suggested Dr Knighton should face any action about his conduct and none had been taken. It said there were no reasons to doubt his credibility or probity.

The trust did not respond when asked if any apology had been offered to Dr Macanovic.

A spokesperson said: “We are committed to supporting colleagues raising concerns, so they are treated fairly with compassion and respect.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 13 April 2022


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