Esteemed military Medic, Dr. Stephen Frost has taken the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to tribunal over their decision to dismiss him from his position within the organisation. Dr Frost learnt of his dismissal during a family holiday in September 2013 when he received a text message and email informing him of the decision.
Dr Frost believes this is a result of his whistleblowing, in which he alleged that overly strong morphine sulphate tablets were used at the Weeton Barracks army base in Lancashire. The strength of these tablets was said to be six times the normal strength.
The army base has blamed this incident on a dispensing error, but Dr Frost believes such a accident is unlikely and determined that these drugs has been acquired illegally.
Several weeks after his whistleblowing, Dr Frost was suddenly fired, just three moths before his contract was to expire. Such dismissal could potentially affect his future employment as a doctor within the military.
Dr Frost feels he has been summarily dismissed as a direct result of his exposing of potentially illegal conduct. This sentiment is backed by a lack of evidence of whether the claims were ever referred to the correct authorities.
Dr Frost has stated that he received no official explanation regarding his dismissal, and was not given a chance to challenge the decision or to explain his version of events, which led to Dr Frost suffering depression, anxiety and stress.
Dr Frost’s tribunal
During a preliminary hearing in January 2015 , the MoD attempted to strike out Dr. Frost’s tribunal on the grounds that his position did not grant him the rights of a ‘worker’, even though he had been employed within the armed service industry for nearly 20 years via agencies.
The MoD also challenged the legitimacy of Dr. Frost’s position as a whistleblower due to not initially making whistleblowing the basis of his case, even though the term ‘whistleblower’ is clearly included on his claim form.
Such challenges from the MoD did not prevent Employment Judge Howard from ruling that Dr Frost’s case should be heard in full during an employment tribunal, which will be held during a 7 day hearing from 23 to 31 July 2015.
Dr Frost has spoken of his relief at receiving a tribunal :
“It is a great relief that the judge allowed my claim to proceed. I have dedicated much of my life to working as a doctor for HM Armed Forces and I took my job of treating sick and injured military personnel very seriously. My summary dismissal came as a great shock to me and has seriously affected my health and my family life.”
The MoD have refused to comment on the case pending the outcome of the tribunal.
Dr Frost’s previous whistleblowing claims
This is not the first time Dr Frost has been involved in a whistleblowing dispute. He was previously involved in a much publicised critique on the ruling over the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly, who was found dead in Oxfordshire woodland in June 2003, having apparently committed suicide following his claims to the BBC that the Labour government falsified documents to justify the Iraq War.
Dr Frost led a campaign to launch a full inquest into Kelly’s death and has openly challenged the official Hutton Report inquiry, which ruled the death a suicide.