Intended for healthcare professionals


Surgeon who alleged constructive dismissal over bullying loses case

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 01 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:467
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. London

    A surgeon who threw a dessert spoon in an operating theatre lost his case before an Exeter employment tribunal this week. Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Godfrey Charnley, aged 43, threw the spoon away in disgust when it was offered to him as an alternative surgical instrument.

    Mr Charnley resigned from Plymouth's Derriford Hospital in December 2001. He told the tribunal that hospital managers who were obsessed with meeting government waiting list targets fostered a culture of bullying and intimidation and compromised the quality of patient care. He argued that the pressure brought on him amounted to constructive dismissal.

    Mr Charnley said the investigation into the spoon incident was …

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