Richard (not the whistleblower’s real name) was a dentist at a small practice for several years. Richard enjoyed the work, but started to notice things were going wrong at the practice. He had concerns about the safety of patients, with errors being made on patient records and some patients complaining about the poor standards of care they were receiving. Things escalated further when the practice was subject to an inspection. Richard discovered that a practice manager was providing false information to the inspectors to cover up for administrative errors.
Richard felt that he couldn’t stay silent and raised his concerns openly with the practice managers. Rather than responding properly to Richard’s concerns, Richard was instead victimised, belittled and criticised. After a few weeks of this, the practice managers told Richard that they no longer needed his services and said that he was self-employed and therefore didn’t have any employment rights.
Richard contacted Protect for advice on whether this was the case. Protect explained that the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) applies to employees and workers, and that Richard could argue that his working arrangements meant he was a worker. We also explained that specific provisions have been made to ensure dentists, GPs and pharmacists working under certain NHS contracts are still protected under PIDA. We were able to help Richard prepare his particulars of claim for his ET1 in order to assert these rights.
From this, Richard was able to reach a settlement with the practice, to compensate him for the distressing treatment he had received, including the loss of his job. This will allow him and his family to move on from this experience and ensure that there is some accountability for those who victimised someone just for doing the right thing.