Doctor who said prayers to Walsall colleagues loses second appeal

A doctor who emailed a prayer to colleagues has lost his second appeal against unfair dismissal.

Dr David Drew, a former consultant paediatrician at Walsall Manor Hospital and a devout Christian
Dr David Drew, a former consultant paediatrician at Walsall Manor Hospital and a devout Christian

Dr David Drew claimed he was sacked as senior paediatric consultant for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust in December 2010 after emailing a prayer to colleagues and being told to ‘refrain from using religious references’ at work.

But the practising Christian failed to prove religious discrimination at an employment appeal tribunal in London earlier this year, after his case was thrown out at a tribunal in Birmingham.

Dr Drew today said: “I am naturally disappointed that the employment appeal tribunal’s decision has gone against me. I will meet my legal team this week for advice.”

He had also raised concerns over a case where a baby was sent home and died. He also alleged there was bullying and understaffed wards.

He added: “In the week I received the judgement, the House of Commons Health Select Committee advised that cases of doctors reporting honestly-held concerns about quality of patient care should not be dealt with through employment tribunals.

“It will be more difficult for trusts to treat whistleblowers in this way in future. I am grateful for the support I have received from my colleagues on that point.”

After the employment tribunal in Birmingham in March and April 2012, Judge David Kearsley ruled if complaints were made about Muslim or Hindu doctors who had quoted from holy texts, they too would be asked to refrain from such behaviour.

In a ruling following the appeal tribunal in February, Judge Jeffrey Burke QC said: “Much of the appeal was or amounted to arguments of perversity; but the employment tribunal had reached factual conclusions which it was open to them to reach.”

The Trust said Dr Drew, of Anchorage Road, Sutton Coldfield, had failed to accept recommendations made following an independent review sparked by him lodging a grievance against a colleague.

He was dismissed for gross misconduct and insubordination, for failing to accept recommendations from the review and for also disclosing confidential information.