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Labour Court rules against SpR over completion of training

A specialist registrar (SpR) seeking to complete training in radiation oncology has lost a case in the Labour Court against the hospital in which he was based and the HSE.

In his capacity as an SpR, the trainee was employed in the ‘respondent’ hospital from July 2012 until July 2017.

While he was there, issues arose regarding his conduct and performance, according to court transcripts.

In July 2017, he transferred to another hospital as part of his training rotation.

From December 2017 until May 2018, the trainee agreed to engage in a programme of enhanced training and assessment and he planned to return to the respondent hospital in July 2018 to complete his training.

In April, however, the trainee heard that he was not on the respondent’s SpR roster for July. 

He discovered that, in February 2018, the respondent’s clinical director informed the training co-ordinator at the RCSI Faculty of Radiologists that she was “not in a position” to allow him to return to the hospital to resume his training.

The trainee contacted the Dean of the faculty, who informed him the situation would be resolved once he completed his enhanced training in May.

He completed the training to the satisfaction of his supervisors and on 12 June 2018, the Dean wrote to the clinical director at the hospital to inform her that the trainee completed the period of enhanced training and “there have been no issues arising”. He sought confirmation from the clinical director that she would employ the trainee so that he could resume his training from July 2018 until July 2019.

On 22 June, the clinical director wrote she was informed in July 2017 that, at his end-of-year assessment, the trainee was told he was no longer on the SpR training programme.

However, in February 2018, she heard that the trainee had resumed his training in a different hospital and was due to return to the respondent hospital in July of that year. This prompted her letter to the training co-ordinator, in which she said that she would not permit the complainant to resume employment and training in her hospital.

In July 2018, the clinical director submitted a complaint regarding the SpR’s performance to the Medical Council.

The Labour Court stated that no further action was required by the hospital, and that the trainee, who was represented at the hearing by the IMO, should consider the option of training in a hospital in England or Scotland.

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