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Anaesthetist wins payout from trust that admits libelling him

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 22 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1917
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A locum consultant anaesthetist has won a six figure sum in damages and costs in a settlement with a hospital trust that apologised for libelling him in letters to the General Medical Council.

Michael Fish sued Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Ye Myint, clinical director of the department of anaesthesia at Barnsley Hospital, over two letters stating that Fish had fraudulently claimed for more hours than he had worked while a locum there between July and October 2009.

In a statement read out at the High Court in London on 19 March, the morning the libel trial had been due to start, Barnsley Hospital and Myint confirmed that “they now recognise and accept that Dr Fish did not make any fraudulent claims.”

Although it did not go to a judgment, the case is a cautionary tale for NHS …

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