Tina Wisener, Kate Kapp and the British Medical Association (BMA) supported Dr Rosalind Ranson, former Medical Director on the Isle of Man, in securing compensation of almost £3.2 million following her successful claim for whistleblowing. Doyle Clayton instructed Oliver Segal KC and Madeline Stanley of Old Square Chambers to represent Dr Ranson at the hearing in January and March 2023.
Dr Ranson suffered ‘humiliation, bullying, harassment and vilification’ and was ultimately unfairly dismissed after urging the Manx Government to depart from Public Health England advice in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020. Dr Ranson had also raised serious concerns about patient safety and governance matters.
The liability hearing, which concluded in early 2022, found ‘abundant evidence that Dr Ranson had been subjected to humiliating, infuriating and frustrating behaviour at work’ as well as ‘being stripped of her role as Medical Director’ as a result of raising protected disclosures. The Tribunal also concluded that because Dr Ranson had blown the whistle, ‘slice by slice, her role of Medical Director had been taken away from her…..and besides being humiliated in front of her colleagues, her humiliation was apparent up to and including high levels of Government and the Council of Ministers’.
As well as receiving compensation for loss of earnings and pension, Dr Ranson has been awarded sums in compensation for psychiatric injury, injury to feelings, and exceptionally, aggravated and exemplary damages. These awards were made due to the Respondent’s ‘high handed, malicious, insulting and oppressive manner’ during the course of the litigation and were ‘warranted for [their] oppressive, arbitrary and unconstitutional behaviour’. The Tribunal found that the former Chief Executive of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Kathryn Magson’s behaviour amounted to gross misconduct and further, that the Respondent’s Response to Dr Ranson’s claim ‘as relied upon was a travesty of the truth’ and ‘had been drafted substantially by Miss Magson and was self-serving.’ This behaviour was taken into account in making these substantial awards.
Dr Ranson was also awarded 70% of legal costs for the liability stage of the proceedings due to the behaviours of the DHSC. An award for costs is far from the norm, however, the Tribunal found that the DHSC ‘fought tooth and nail…on a false basis to the substantial detriment of Dr Ranson and at the expense of taxpayers on the Isle of Man’ and, as such, was justified. These were just some of the serious issues that underpinned the Tribunal’s decision to award costs to Dr Ranson.
Dr Ranson said ‘I had wanted to avoid litigation and following my unfair dismissal I asked the Minister of Health (Isle of Man) to listen to me and for my job back. With no meaningful response, I was left with no option other than to file a claim with the Equality and Employment Tribunal…. ‘I would like to thank my fantastic legal team appointed by the BMA’…..‘It is my belief that those who deliberately and intentionally subject a whistleblower to harm must be held to account for their actions’.
To read Dr Ranson’s full statement please click here.
Whistleblowing protection was first introduced in the UK in 1999 and is a day one right for all employees and workers. Doyle Clayton regularly advises employers and employees on whistleblowing issues. Further information can be found here.
This article was first published on 3 May 2023 by our UK member firm Doyle Clayton. For questions or more information, please contact Tina Wisener, Partner & Head of Reading Office, or Kate Kapp, Legal Director.