Idu v East Suffolk & North Essex NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWCA Civ 1649

Appeal against the EAT’s decision that the charges against the Appellant did not involve issues of capability or professional conduct. Appeal dismissed.

The Appellant brought wide-ranging claims in the ET after she was summarily dismissed by the Respondent for gross misconduct. The ET dismissed all of her claims, and the Appellant was permitted to appeal to the EAT on a single point: the Respondent's disciplinary procedure provided that "cases involving issues of professional conduct" must be heard by a three-person panel, including an "independent doctor"; the Respondent proceeded on the basis that the allegations against the Appellant related to her conduct and not her capability, and that the conduct in question was not "professional", so the panel did not include an independent doctor – was the correct procedure followed? The EAT dismissed the appeal, and the Appellant appealed against that decision on grounds including that the ET equated professional misconduct with clinical misconduct, and that the EAT had been wrong to seek to substitute its own reasons for those given by the ET.

The Court of Appeal held that there was nothing to indicate that the ET had erred in law or that the EAT had approached the case wrongly. The real issue was whether the Respondent's allegations against the Appellant involved professional misconduct and/or issues about her capability; on this point, the Court of Appeal found that the allegations against the Appellant did not involve her professional conduct or capability issues, and dismissed the appeal.

Published: 10/10/2019 18:22