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Doctor’s behaviour ‘fell far below what was acceptable’
A HOSPITAL boss defended the sacking of a doctor for sexual harassment at an employment tribunal yesterday.
Professor Edward Baker spoke for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust at a case brought by the doctor, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
He was dismissed in late 2012 following complaints by two female trainee doctors and lost an appeal that was heard in May 2013.
One said the middle-aged doctor touched her leg in his office and the other said he sent “persistent” text messages asking her to his house.
The trainees said he told them they would get unfavourable write-ups in their progress reports if they didn’t.
But the consultant has said the allegations were fabricated to force him out of his job as part of a cost-cutting drive.
Prof Baker, then the trust’s medical director and deputy chief executive, said the consultant felt he had been “misconstrued” over the woman he sent messages to “due to his poor command of English”.
He said: “The claimant did not deny asking about her personal life or discussing meeting privately but said this was a result of his concerns for her and with her interests in mind as she was a poor trainee.”
Prof Baker said: “We did not accept this was a well-intentioned attempt to provide support to a struggling trainee.”
The other trainee was lying, the consultant claimed.
Both accounts were “strikingly similar” Prof Baker said, adding: “We felt the behaviour of the claimant fell far below what was acceptable from any employee and in particular a senior clinician with responsibility for trainees.”
The dismissal was not related to a proposed restructure and “in reality caused problems for the trust” he said.
The married consultant is suing the trust for unfair dismissal, breach of contract, racial discrimination, sexual discrimination and loss of wages at Reading Tribunal Centre.
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