- It was Chris Day’s dream to become a consultant in A&E medicine
- But that all changed when Chris reported staffing levels were ‘unsafe’ at night
- His concerned phone call left his career in tatters and sparked a legal battle
- NHS agencies have accused him of having ‘personal and professional’ issues
- The Court of Appeal ruled Chirs can finally see an employment tribunal
Chris Day had an unblemished record as a junior doctor. Respected by his senior colleagues, he was used to working hard in often difficult circumstances, regularly putting in long night shifts in the intensive care unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South East London. It took him away from his wife Melissa, a nurse, and their two young children.
But such was his commitment that Chris, 32, believed it was a small price to pay to follow his dream of becoming a consultant in A&E medicine.
So when, during yet another night shift, Chris made a telephone call to report to the duty manager that he believed overnight staffing levels were unsafe, and that patients with life-threatening conditions may be left ‘dangerously’ at risk, he simply believed he had discharged his duty as a responsible doctor.
During his time on the unit, two ICU patients had died at night, in circumstances formally recorded by Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust as serious untoward incidents – meaning the deaths were unexpected or preventable.
Yet unbelievably, that polite phone call left his career in tatters and sparked a two-year legal battle which is estimated to have cost the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds in public funds.
Rather than support his claim, NHS agencies accused him of having ‘personal and professional conduct issues’, removed his right to continue training and used the full weight of the law against him – destroying his promising career.