Whistleblower surgeon wins £102,000 after unfair dismissal case
Peter Duffy, a surgeon from Lancaster, says a 10-year campaign against him has left him ill and feeling unable to work in the NHS again.
The consultant urologist said his professional career is in tatters and he has been torn away from his family after speaking out about allegations of medical negligence.
Mr. Duffy feels he was forced to quit his NHS job after whistleblowing on the actions of colleagues. He has now been awarded a £102,000 payout by an employment tribunal in Manchester. He also claims to now suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because of the treatment he was subjected to while working for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust.
The 56-year-old was labelled ‘racist’ by colleagues after he raised concerns to the Care Quality Commission regarding alleged medical malpractice at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
In a statement to the tribunal, Mr. Duffy claimed to have witnessed a series of errors including several missed cancers. In one case he claimed a major clinical error was narrowly avoided when he spotted a patient was due to have the wrong kidney removed. Another alleged error saw a young teenager wrongly diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, resulting in the removal of a testicle.
The urologist said he was subjected to “malicious and toxic” allegations over 10 years – none of them substantiated.
He transferred to Furness General Hospital in Barrow where he was voted Doctor of the Year, but the following year he resigned from the trust claiming his £200,000 salary had been substantially cut. Later he was told he was the subject of an historic triple racism allegation.
Mr. Duffy said: “I have compared it with like being in prison or like being deported. I am very lonely and feel extremely traumatised by what has happened.
“I believe that I have always acted in the best interests of my patients and the NHS itself. I am far too frightened to ever consider returning to the NHS.”
The tribunal found Mr. Duffy was unfairly dismissed due to a breach of contract over pay. The trust denied constructive and unfair dismissal.