Top Surgeon wins unfair and wrongful dismissal claim after he was dismissed for sexual harassment of two trainee female doctors, represented by Charles Crow

The Facts

A top surgeon was dismissed by an NHS Oxford University Trust after he allegedly made sexual advances towards two female trainee doctors who were supervised by him. He was accused of suggesting they join him at his house after work, otherwise it would afffect their progress. There were other allegations of lewd conduct, including touching the leg of one of the trainee doctors and the constant sending of text messages.

Anne Thomson, a senior doctor at the trust, investigated the sexual harassment claims. She told an Employment Tribunal that she had found the consultant guilty of gross misconduct and instructed his instant dismissal following a disciplinary hearing in December 2012.

The women were reported at the investigative stages to have said that they “felt intimidated by the advances made by the claimant”, and that his conduct had been “unwanted and had caused them anxiety and distress”.

At the disciplinary and appeal hearings both women were found to be credible, although the consultant had alleged that they had colluded.

The Employment Tribunal

In bringing a claim at the Reading Employment Tribunal against the NHS Trust, the Consultant challenged the genuineness of the findings at the disciplinary hearing. Whilst the Employment Tribunal did not accept that there was evidence as to what motivated the investigation into the allegations brought by the two trainee doctors, it accepted the arguments of Charles Crow that the Respondent had failed to critically analyse the evidence; looking only for evidence of guilt rather than innocence. Charles Crow also highlighted that the disciplinary panel had ignored possible motive for the allegations; of unhappiness with performance reviews and the desire to change supervisors.

Please click here to view Charles Crow’s profile.

Please click here to read articles reported by the Telegraph, Banbury Guardian, and the Banbury Guardian follow up article.