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Christian Doctor believes concerns over cost-cutting cost him his job

A Christian doctor who was sacked after he emailed Bible quotes and prayers to colleagues claims he was 'stitched up' by hospital bosses after losing his appeal for unfair dismissal.

Consultant paediatrician Dr David Drew has lost two appeals against his employers Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust after he refused to accept the recommendation of an independent review panel.

Dr Drew, who has worked for the NHS for 37 years, was told to "keep his religious beliefs to himself" by a review panel, which was called to investigate his conduct in March 2010.

One colleague had told the Trust that Dr Drew sent him prayers which he found "strange" and another reported receiving emails which were ''a bit bizarre, quoting the Bible"

The doctor was branded as having committed "gross misconduct and insubordination" in December 2010. The 65 year-old claimed unfair dismissal, religious discrimination and victimisation - all of which was rejected last April at an employment tribunal.

An independent review ruled there was no evidence the hospital board had been influenced by his religious beliefs.

He then went to an Employment Appeal Tribunal to overturn that decision, this was also rejected. 

However, Dr Drew, who said he headed up the children's department for seven years before he was suspended in 2009, believes he was targeted after raising concerns about cost cutting measures. 

He also claims the three doctors sent to conduct the independent review were ordered by the Trust to sign a gagging order so they were unable to speak about the review or any of their findings. 

The medic, from Sutton Coldfield, in the West Midlands, said at the employment tribunal eight witnesses testified that there was no truth that he tried to put his religious beliefs on other staff or that he used inappropriate religious language, but the Tribunal didn't take this on board. 

He also said he has never been able to interrogate the evidence because he claims it has been destroyed. 

Dr Drew told Premier's News Hour he still doesn't think he did anything wrong and it is nonsense that an independent review found his actions to be inappropriate. 

Ruling on Monday, Judge Jeffrey Burke QC said the original panel had not made any error in law.

And a spokesperson from Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said:

"The issues that Dr Drew has raised today have been addressed through several stringent formal processes on-going since 2009. 

"We are satisfied with the outcome of this case and that the judgment of the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeals Tribunal is that Dr Drew's claims have been dismissed. 

"However, we would like to reiterate that this case did not question Dr Drew's skills as a Paediatric Consultant and on behalf of the Trust would like to say that we regret that the situation had to get to the Tribunal stage.

"As a Trust we actively encourage and support our staff to raise an issue if they are concerned about patient care."

Dr Drew says he now intends to release a book about his case.

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