Oliver Segal QC, Simon Cheetham QC, Madeline Stanley from Old Square Chambers and The BMA have supported a former Chief Medical Director, who lost her job after speaking out about the blocking of Covid 19 advice by a Chief Executive, to win her case at an employment tribunal.
The hearing, which began in January of this year, heard how Dr Rosalind Ranson was unfairly dismissed from her role as Chief Medical Director on the Isle of Man after she had urged the Manx Government to depart from Public Health England advice in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 – which eventually it did. However, Dr Ranson was victimised and dismissed after she raised a number of serious concerns, which included whether the Chief Executive, who was not medically qualified, was passing on her advice to Ministers. Dr Ranson had also raised serious concerns about patient safety and governance matters.
The Employment Tribunal hearing, which began in January of this year, heard how Dr Ranson was marginalised, bullied and unfairly dismissed from her role as Chief Medical Director on the island. Dr Ranson became the Chief Medical Director in January 2020, moving to the Isle of Man to oversee a reorganisation of health services and subsequently to provide expert medical advice and guidance on how the health system should respond to the pandemic.
However in March 2020 it became apparent that Dr Ranson and her team’s expert advice was not being heeded. The island’s pandemic strategy of following Public Health England was rejected by the island’s doctors. Dr Ranson’s role was to get their voices heard. After some delay the Government followed Dr Ranson’s medical advice and implemented the recommendations around quarantine and controls at the port. When the island’s new healthcare service, Manx Care, was created in April 2021, Dr Ranson fully expected to transfer to it as Chief Medical Director. Instead, she was moved sideways into what the judgment called ‘an empty shell role’ still within the Department of Health and Social Care.
The Tribunal concluded that because Dr Ranson had ‘blown the whistle,’ speaking out about her concerns, she was first sidelined and eventually, unfairly dismissed. It also considered the praise of Dr Ranson by her colleagues acknowledging she was held in high esteem and found that the Chief Executive’s criticisms of Dr Ranson were ‘ludicrous and unjustifiable’.
Oliver, Simon and Madeline were instructed by Jonathan Walsh and Richard Thomas from Capital Law, on behalf of The BMA.
William Meade (Senior Clerk)