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Medical director wins 'whistle blowing' unfair dismissal case

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A former medical director on the Isle of Man, who lost her job when she questioned decisions made on the island during the COVID-19 pandemic, has won her case for unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal.

The hearing, which began in January, heard how Dr Rosalind Ranson was victimised and dismissed from her role after making 'protected disclosures' as part of her efforts to persuade the Manx Government to deviate from Public Health England (PHE) advice in the early stages of the pandemic.

Dr Ranson, who had extensive experience as a GP and as a senior medical leader in the NHS in England, was appointed to her post as the island's most senior doctor in January 2020 with the aim of tackling what she identified as a disillusioned medical workforce, failings in management, and a bullying culture.

She was soon called on to provide expert medical advice and guidance on how the Isle of Man’s health system should respond to the spread of COVID-19. In March, Dr Ranson channelled concerns from the island's doctors that the advice from PHE was flawed, and that a more robust approach should be taken to stem the spread of SARS-CoV-2. That included closing the island’s borders – a move that was initially ignored.

Dr Ranson became concerned that her medical advice was not being heeded and that it might not be being passed on to ministers by the then Chief Executive of the Isle of Man’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Kathryn Magson, who was not medically qualified.

The tribunal heard that because Dr Ranson had "blown the whistle" when she spoke out, she was sidelined and eventually dismissed unfairly.

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Source: Medscape, 11 May 2022

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