Sack­ing claim win for Queen’ s ex-sur­geon

Tri­bunal rul­ing in favour of doc­tor

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FRONT PAGE -

The Queen’s former sur­geon in Scotland, who ac­cused NHS Grampian of un­fair dis­missal, has won his case at an em­ploy­ment tri­bunal.

Pro­fes­sor Zyg­munt Krukowski held the pres­ti­gious po­si­tion for 12 years un­til his res­ig­na­tion in May 2016, hav­ing been a con­sul­tant at Aberdeen’s Royal In­fir­mary (ARI) for more than 25 years.

The £150,000-peryear sur­geon sued NHS Grampian for con­struc­tive un­fair dis­missal, claim­ing that the health board tried to dis­credit him after he raised concerns about pa­tient safety in 2014.

In their lengthy 120page de­ci­sion doc­u­ment, em­ploy­ment judge Alexan­der Meik­le­john and panel mem­bers Stu­art Gray and Mary Wil­liamsEdgar unan­i­mously agreed Prof Krukowski had been un­fairly dis­missed.

But they did not find that he had been dis­cred­ited nor racially dis­crim­i­nated against by the health board.

Prof Krukowski flagged pa­tient safety concerns to se­nior man­age­ment in 2014.

The 70-year-old’s rev­e­la­tions led to tur­moil at the health board, with in­creased gov­ern­ment scru­tiny, two crit­i­cal re­ports of Aberdeen’s hospitals and the even­tual de­par­ture of sev­eral high­pro­file fig­ures.

A probe by the Royal Col­lege of Sur­geons of Eng­land sub­se­quently un­cov­ered a break­down in work­ing re­la­tion­ships within ARI’s gen­eral sur­gi­cal team.

But the royal physi­cian was sus­pended from his role over bul­ly­ing al­le­ga­tions. While cleared of any wrong­do­ing by the Gen­eral Med­i­cal Coun­cil, he re­signed shortly after­wards in 2016.

The tri­bunal heard that Prof Krukowski had felt “no op­tion” but to re­sign, for the sake of his own health and well­be­ing.

Dur­ing ev­i­dence, the tri­bunal paused as he broke down and wept while re­vis­it­ing the events which led to his res­ig­na­tion.

Judge Meik­le­john said: “We be­lieved the rec­ol­lec­tion of this was gen­uinely dis­tress­ing and his re­ac­tion spoke more elo­quently than words could con­vey how he had felt at that time.”

Prof Krukowski’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive Rus­sell Bradley de­scribed the health board’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the com­plaints raised against him as “in­com­pe­tent” and ques­tioned its im­par­tial­ity.

Judge Meik­le­john agreed.

Last night Prof

Krukowski said: “This process has been trau­matic and not how I would have cho­sen or ex­pected to leave the hospi­tal and pa­tients to whom I de­voted more than 40 years of my pro­fes­sional life.

“I am pro­foundly grate­ful to my fam­ily and the pa­tients, friends and col­leagues who sup­ported me over the last four years.”

A spokes­woman for NHS Grampian said: “We note the find­ings of the tri­bunal. We will look to learn from its com­ments on the pro­cesses and pro­ce­dures fol­lowed.”

A hear­ing date to award com­pen­sa­tion is yet to be set.

Pho­to­graph by Kenny El­rick

HEAR­ING: Pro­fes­sor Zyg­munt Krukowski was found to have been un­fairly dis­missed after a dis­pute at ARI.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.