The Appointments Commission has admitted unlawfully sacking a non-executive director of a primary care trust who opposed an ill-fated independent treatment centre contract.

The Appointments Commission has admitted unlawfully sacking a non-executive director of a primary care trust who opposed an ill-fated independent treatment centre contract.

Paul Wesson was sacked as a non-executive director of South West Oxfordshire PCT last year, following disquiet at the PCT about some of his actions, but when he sought a judicial review of his case the commission accepted that it should not have terminated his contract.

He was one of five non-executives at the PCT who initially opposed a£2m contract to buy hundreds of cataract operations from private firm Netcare as part of a national contract.

But the work will not now be carried out by Netcare due to a lack of demand.

Mr Wesson, who admits he had a turbulent relationship with senior managers at South West Oxfordshire PCT, said the sacking process started when he mistakenly sent an e-mail to local campaigners discussing possible closures of local community hospitals.

He was told by the Appointment Commission that he would face disciplinary action and a decision was taken to terminate his contract.

But last week the Appointment Commission accepted that it had not acted properly in sacking Mr Wesson, and it agreed that he would be paid all the money he would have received in allowances if he had remained as a non-executive director.

The commission also agreed that four members of its staff involved in the decision to sack Mr Wesson will be prevented from having any involvement in any future applications he makes for non-executive posts.

Mr Wesson has applied to be a non-executive director of the new Oxfordshire PCT; he applied unsuccessfully for a similar position with South Central SHA.

He believes that despite the commission's agreement, he will still find it difficult to find another position within the NHS.

'My card has been marked, but it is not fair because all I had been doing was my job, which was to robustly challenge the PCT's decision,' he told HSJ.

'I was effectively sacked for arguing with them, but everything I did was constructively challenging.'

An Appointments Commission spokesperson said it did not want to comment on the agreement.