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Whistleblower dentist wins legal claim against Shropshire NHS trust after 'witch hunt'

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A consultant dentist who said he had become the victim of a witch hunt at a Shropshire hospital has won legal claims against his former employers.

Mr Paul Dowsing, who specialised in treating mainly young patients, was consultant orthodontist at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital.

He claimed detriment and constructive unfair dismissal against Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust at a previous Birmingham Employment Tribunal after complaining that he was put under pressure to resign after making whistle blowing allegations against the hospital.

He alleged the hospital "covered up" failures to meet patient treatment targets within 18 weeks – at one stage involving 176 patients - and kept a "hidden" surgery waiting list of patients.

Mr Dowsing complained that the "waiting patients" could have been lost for ever considering that some dental could take up to three years.

Mr Dowsing, of Burton-on-Trent, also alleged the hospital "stopped the clock" for patients when they had been seen for assessment, rather than when their treatment had commenced. There was also an allegation that a hospital staff member incorrectly ordered £10,000 worth of stock.

The trust opposed Mr Dowsing's legal claims and accused him of bringing patients from his Manor Practice at Burton to the hospital for out-of-hours treatment as private patients. The hospital complained this was a breach of contract and twice suspended him for a total of nearly 21 months.

An investigation was carried out. Mr Dowsing complained he became the victim of a witch hunt.

The tribunal hearing had been listed for 12 days and Judge Ron Broughton said he would make a decision at a later date.

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Mr Broughton has now announced that Mr Dowsing was subjected to detriment and unfairly constructively dismissed as a result of making whistle blowing disclosures.

But he also said that Mr Dowsing's own conduct had been "potentially both culpable and contributory".

Mr Broughton said in his report: "He appears to have been held in high regard by many and to have had an almost impossible workload due to demand, the time-critical nature of some of the treatments, understaffing and financial constraints."

A tribunal spokesman said an undisclosed award had since been made.

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