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Anthony Haycroft successfully defends consultant anaesthetist against bullying and harassment allegations in Medical Practitioners Tribunal

29th June 2023

Anthony Haycroft successfully defended a Consultant Anaesthetist before a Medical Practitioners Tribunal in a 2 week case of bullying, harassment at work by reason of sex and sexual orientation and breach of social distancing.

It was claimed that the consultant doctor had a “touchy-feely” disposition with female colleagues. During lockdown there was an incident in the canteen where he demonstrated holding a knife to a colleague’s neck explaining how difficult it was to behead someone. (This was in the context of discussing the beheading of a teacher in Paris by a terrorist).  There was also an incident of a threat of pouring a hot drink over a colleague unless she did some work.

The bullying allegation had been added after service of the doctor’s witness statement but within 28 days of the hearing. All other charges were admitted. Stage 1 consisted of legal submissions on whether the evidence proved “bullying” and the MPT agreed with the defence that it did not. At the impairment stage, the defence argued that only the touching and inappropriate comment based upon sexual orientation amounted to misconduct and that other charges were essentially employment grievances at most. The MPT agreed with this analysis and on the basis of the remediation carried out and insight shown in reflections and in giving evidence at “stage 2”, that there was no current impairment. The defence also successfully opposed a GMC submission arguing for a warning.

Anthony Haycroft was instructed by Sam Flew of Weightmans, London through MDDUS.

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