Dr Rosalind Ranson has spoken out about her treatment by the Isle of Man Government and her unfair dismissal.
Earlier this week, the island’s former medical director was awarded compensation amounting to £3.1m, which is the single largest win for a whistleblowing case for the British Medical Association.
Dr Ranson was unfairly dismissed after making protected disclosures.
The tribunal, chaired by Douglas Stewart, also ruled that the Department of Health and Social Care must pay 70% of Dr Ranson’s costs of the liability proceedings, the full amount of which is still to be assessed.
The payout includes £1.95m in lost future earnings and almost £750,000 in pension losses. Injury to Dr Ranson’s feelings, aggravated damages and personal injury also added to the total figure.
Going back to when the tribunal ruled Dr Ranson had been unfairly dismissed, the panel said: ‘The unanimous decision of the Tribunal is that Dr Ranson, having made protected disclosures, was automatically unfairly dismissed and suffered detriments in consequence.
‘She was also unfairly dismissed irrespective of the protected disclosures.’
Dr Ranson issued a statement yesterday (Thursday) on the compensation award. Here it is in full:
‘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 was facing colossal legal costs and had already spent thousands of pounds. With thanks to my medical colleagues in the Isle of Man, Dr May Shui Chan and Dr Prakash Thiagarajan, and colleagues at the BMA, the BMA agreed to step in and provide me with excellent legal representation.
‘This has been a traumatic few years. Doing my job to the best of my ability and fulfilling my professional obligations, meant that I personally paid a huge price.
‘For me, it is a tragedy that my 35 year career in medicine has come to an end through these circumstances.
‘I was proud of my professional integrity, my resilience and my strength to stand up for those that I protected through my work as a doctor. I had so much more to give and so much more that I wanted to achieve, but those hopes are at an end.
‘My health has suffered, my reputation destroyed, my career shattered. I have lost my belief in essential human kindness because I have seen that the default position for many people was to protect their own personal interests, regardless of the consequences.
‘When this behaviour extends to those who hold the most powerful of positions and in whom the public place their trust, then consequences must flow, action is needed and the outcome of my Tribunal Hearing must not be the end.
‘Whistleblowing has the power to stop, prevent and avoid wrongdoing, prevent harm and save lives. The failures to act on all the concerns I raised, resulted in lost opportunities.
‘Wrongdoing has gone unchallenged, harm has occurred not just to me but to others and I believe that there was avoidable loss of life.
‘I cannot yet, and perhaps will never be able to come to terms with how, by doing my job to the best of my ability, I could have provoked a person in the most senior managerial position to display such malevolent behaviour towards me.
‘What started as a single person, grew initially to a few individuals, then the entire weight of the Manx government against me.
‘There was evidence that key documents were deliberately not disclosed, were destroyed and were altered. Evidence of wrongdoing emerged from those who gave evidence or through cross examination of witnesses as to the extent of the wrongdoing. The number of people involved or implicated and the seniority of those individuals is shocking.
‘An organisation, institution, or a country where there is power without accountability is a dangerous place to be. This is not only a matter for the people of the Isle of Man but is a matter for the UK Government and the NHS in the UK.
‘People in positions of high office, many of whom remain in positions of power or have moved to other organisations, some of which are in the UK, have not been held to account for their wrongdoing. I raised numerous concerns with the most senior and powerful individuals.
‘Many opportunities to act on my concerns were lost because those in power chose not to act and individuals chose either to become active participants in wrongdoing or passive bystanders.
‘Those failures to act had devastating consequences not just for me but for others.
‘Numerous individuals left their senior positions in haste, explanations of retirement or resignation were given, along with public thanks and effusive praise.
‘None of these individuals were investigated or held to account for what they did. Others remain in post or have moved on to new positions.
‘There is an environment of fear because there is a culture of power without accountability. For the Isle of Man to thrive and for the NHS (both in the Isle of Man and in the UK) to become a safe place to receive care, there must be independent investigations into the wrongdoing I have exposed and experienced first-hand.
‘It is my belief that those who deliberately and intentionally subject a whistleblower to harm must be held to account for their actions. As things stand, no consequences flow from the outcome of this case, nor from the many wrongdoings exposed.
‘However, there are mechanisms currently in place to act on what has emerged from this litigation, but it seems it falls to me, the public, the press, regulators and the UK Government to take action now. I would like to be the last whistleblower that suffers harm as a direct result of raising concerns.
‘I would like to thank my fantastic legal team appointed by the BMA: Oliver Segal KC, Simon Cheetham KC and Madeline Stanley of Old Square Chambers; Tina Wisener and Kate Kapp of Doyle Clayton Solicitors.
‘I would also like to thank my advocates on the Isle of Man, Richard Halsall, Maria Bridson and Peter Russell from Bridson Halsall.
‘I also thank The Equality and Employment Tribunal, Isle of Man and the High Court on the Isle of Man who fulfilled their roles in exemplary fashion. The Tribunal and its officers treated me with courtesy and professionalism throughout. The Appeal Courts on the Isle of Man acted with speed and fairness.
‘Finally, I could not have succeeded without the unwavering support of my husband Damian Falkowski (who also acted for me in the initial stages of this case) and my daughter Clara Falkowska.
‘They have not only stood by me throughout but have provided me with wise counsel.’