High Court Chancery Division
Application by a consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Luton and Dunstable Hospital to restrain disciplinary proceedings being brought against her. The grounds of her application were: (i) that the complaint against her involved allegations of professional misconduct and incompetence and not personal misconduct; (ii) that the procedure adopted, and in particular the panel, were only appropriate for a hearing of personal misconduct; (iii) that even if the proceedings characterised as proceedings for personal misconduct were such, the Trust had failed to comply with the contractual requirement to invite the applicant to attend an interview before taking those proceedings and; (iv) that the Trust was obliged to disclose the alleged misconduct under investigation before she attended the interview which the Trust had refused to do.
HELD: The characterisation of the proceedings was for the Trust and the proceedings could not be impugned merely because an employee considers the characterisation is wrong or because the Trust gave no reasons prior to the hearing. The only ground for impugning their decision would be lack of good faith or unreasonableness. The matters of complaint related purely to personal misconduct and there was no call for any of her peers to be on the panel to safeguard her interests in respect of any such question. The hearing would be limited to such charges and the correct procedure had been adopted by the Trust under the North West Thames Health Authority Disciplinary Policy and Procedure Circular (HC.(909). Clause 12A of the applicant's contract which provided that if after investigation the regional medical officer found there was reasonable ground for believing there had been personal misconduct by the applicant he should call the applicant to an interview, did not require him to provide the applicant with such information as the applicant contended.
 ICR 1066
William Meade (Senior Clerk)