Published: 12/09/2002, Volume II2, No. 5822 Page 7

A clinical governance manager has agreed a settlement with a major teaching hospital on the eve of a tribunal hearing in one of the first cases covered by the government's new 'whistleblowing' legislation.

Rosemary Hittinger, former clinical governance manager for surgery and critical care at St Mary's trust, London, took the trust to an employment tribunal under the Public Interest Disclosure Act, which offers unlimited compensation for staff dismissed for whistleblowing. An undisclosed sum has been paid to Ms Hittinger, who is understood to have been made redundant by Imperial College, which held her contract.

The case relates to concerns raised by Ms Hittinger about heart surgery mortality rates at St Mary's.

A statement agreed by Ms Hittinger, St Mary's and Imperial College says: 'The trust admits liability and that no blame attaches to Ms Hittinger in relation to the matters which are the subject of this litigation. The trust and the college wish Ms Hittinger well for her future career.'

A trust spokesperson said Ms Hittinger's allegations had been investigated internally and the trust was 'certain' there were no concerns arising from them. Data had also been sent for external review to benchmarking company CHKS.

Imperial College declined to comment. Ms Hittinger was unavailable for comment.