Leading surgeon wins case for unfair dismissal
PUBLISHED: 13:17 10 December 2015 | UPDATED: 13:17 10 December 2015
A leading surgeon has spoken of his delight after winning his case for unfair dismissal against an NHS Trust.
Pioneering transplant surgeon Nadey Hakim, 57, from Hocroft Road, on the Hocroft Estate, had been dismissed from his post at Hammersmith Hospital in February accused of gross misconduct.
He was said to have “sacrificed” the needs of a woman undergoing a kidney and pancreas transplant at Hammersmith Hospital by first performing a live kidney swap between two brothers at Bupa’s private Cromwell Hospital.
Employment Judge Sarah Goodman yesterday found in his favour after a week-long tribunal against Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Hammersmith Hospital.
Judge Goodman said: “It sometimes happens that clinicians make errors of judgment. If all clinicians were dismissed for an error of judgement then hospitals would be depleted of their staff.”
The tribunal had heard that the woman patient, now 43, was cured of diabetes that she had had since 18. Both brothers also made a full recovery.
Prof Hakim, who performed London’s first pancreas transplant at Hammersmith 20 years ago and has raised £3.5 million in research grants for Imperial, now has to wait until another hearing on January 11 to learn whether the judge will order him to be given his job back.
He had been suspended in September 2014 and then sacked in February this year after being reported for the way he arranged the private and NHS operations to take place simultaneously on October 18, 2013.
Junior doctors transplanted the woman’s kidney and Prof Hakim did her pancreas four-and-a-half hours after the operation began, after completing the kidney transplant on the brothers at the Cromwell Hospital, in Earl’s Court.
The tribunal heard concerns from Imperial about the 25 hours the pancreas was “kept on ice” and that it was transplanted “in the wrong order” - after the kidney.
Judge Goodman accepted that Prof Hakim had been unaware of the 25-hour timeframe, and that he had arranged for NHS colleagues to cover his absence.
A spokesman for Prof Hakim said last night: “At the heart of this case are two patients who were each in need of life saving transplant surgery. There has never been any question that the outcome of each operation performed by Prof Hakim was extremely successful.
“Professor Hakim’s priority was to ensure that each of these patients received the care they needed in an area of surgery dependent on the unpredictable availability of donor organs.
“Professor Hakim determined that both operations should take place concurrently to give each of these patients the best chance of success. The fact that one was a private patient and another an NHS patient played absolutely no part in the judgements made.”
He added: “Professor Hakim is delighted that the Employment Judge in this case found that he was unfairly dismissed.” and he “remains passionate about the NHS.”
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed by the judge’s ruling and we are considering our position.”