• Top trust ordered to pay £20,000 towards costs in whistleblower tribunal case

A major acute trust has been ordered to pay £20,000 in costs amid a long-running employment dispute with a whistleblower.

University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust has been ordered to pay £20,000 towards the costs of a tribunal brought by former consultant ophthalmic surgeon Tristan Reuser, according to a judgment published this week.  

Mr Reuser brought an employment tribunal against the FT after being dismissed in 2017. 

In 2018, a tribunal judge found he was unfairly dismissed and was heavily critical of David Rosser, who at the time was UHB’s medical director and is now its chief executive, for his role in the dismissal. 

The tribunal found that Dr Rosser had given misleading information to the General Medical Council and that another manager made misleading claims to the National Clinical Assessment Service. However in a Remitted Judgment published on 6 November 2020, the Judge clarified the Tribunal had stopped short of finding that Dr Rosser had deliberately misled the GMC. He found that whilst there were “significant issues” in his evidence to the Tribunal, he ‘’was a very busy man, doing a very difficult job, in challenging circumstances.’

In May last year, the trust lost an appeal against the tribunal decision, and said that a new tribunal could re-examine whether Mr Reuser was unfairly dismissed solely on the grounds of a “protected disclosure” he had made before the dismissal. A judgment is yet to be published on that matter. 

However, the ruling on costs was issued this week. 

Dr Rosser is also subject to a fit and proper persons review in relation to the case. The findings of this review are yet to be published. 

People bringing an employment tribunal are usually expected to cover their own costs, although the court may order the other party to pay in certain circumstances. 

The trust told HSJ: “These are the only costs the tribunal has ordered to pay in any employment litigation relating to the claimant.”