A junior doctor from Woolwich claims his career has been derailed after being involved in a legal dispute over protection for whistleblowers.
Chris Day, 31, says he has been in ‘limbo’ for nearly two years after waiting for the outcome of a tribunal which could be a landmark ruling.
Dr Day, from near Woolwich Road, raised concerns over staff shortages while working at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Govan Road, in January 2014.
But after reporting his concerns to his managers, he finished his placement in August that year but says he has struggled ever since.
He claims he has only been able to find work as a locum doctor, and has been knocked off his path to becoming a consultant.
The married father-of-two told News Shopper: “One night I made a call then it snowballed out of control.
“In this case it’s simply my phoning a manager in middle of a night shift and giving them information on this case which they probably didn’t want to hear.
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“I work as a locum doctor in A&E now doing ad hoc shifts when they’re short of staff.”
But a spokesman for the Trust refuted his claims, saying they investigated his concerns 'in detail'.
They added: “The Trust does not accept Chris Day’s allegations and is defending all claims in ongoing legal proceedings.
“We have robust procedures to support staff who raise concerns and we encourage our staff to speak out when concerns arise.”
Dr Day, who qualified in 2009, has brought a claim against Health Education England (HEE) and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust for unfair dismissal and whistleblowing detriment.
In an odd twist, he says his case has been hampered as there is a question over who is technically the employer and responsible for 54,000 junior doctors.
After his case was initially rejected, it has been allowed to be heard on appeal at the employment tribunal.
Dr Day said: “Instead of being prepared to account for their actions and defend a whistle-blowing case on the facts, health education England have attempted to get out of being taken to an employment tribunal by attacking the employment rights of all Deanery doctors in the country.”
He says they are arguing junior doctors do not have whistleblowing protection by debating who their employer is.
Dr Day with his wife Melissa
Junior doctors typically have one-year contracts and move around hospitals.
He added: “It was chucked out basically because junior doctors don’t have the status for unfair dismissal claim or whistleblowing.
“Then we appealed this and we said junior doctors do have whistleblowing protection, we don’t accept that they don’t.
“They need to come to court to explain their actions. It’s bizarre, I’ve got no one agreeing to be my employer.
“Someone must be responsible for 54,000 doctors.
“I’ve been in limbo, 18 months later the NHS is still having an internal disagreement about who the junior doctors are employed by."
When the decision was made last year to allow the appeal, Mr Recorder Luba QC stated: “There would appear to be a lacuna [gap] in respect of the ability of a junior doctor to complain of detrimental treatment.
“There is nevertheless an underlying general importance in the issue being clarified as between not only Dr Day and the Second Respondent but in respect of the interests of all other junior doctors.”
After the hearing last month, Dr Day anxiously awaits the results which could have far-reaching consequences for the country’s junior doctors.
A spokesman for the HEE said they cannot comment on an on-going legal case.