David Drew, a doctor from Derbyshire, claims that he was dismissed by Walsall Manor Hospital after he emailed a prayer to his colleagues. Mr Drew sent the prayer to his colleagues including his manager as a way of motivating them. "Little did I know that this email would cause me so much difficulty and ultimately result in my dismissal," he commented.
Mr Drew explained to the Tribunal in Birmingham that he felt that he had been unfairly targeted for dismissal after expressing concerns and criticisms over practices within the paediatric ward. He feels that his previous attendances at Tribunal concerning matters of conduct at the hospital had influenced the decision to dismiss him. Mr Dew had reported the sexual assault of children on the ward, and on another occasion the fact that another doctor's decision to send a child home had resulted in their death.
Mr Drew has explained that he feels these reports amongst others have been used by the hospital to build a case against him. His employers further cited an unpleasant text sent to a colleague on Christmas day. That text reportedly read “Have a peaceful Christmas”. His employers explained that although benign to Mr Drew they were deemed an aggressive and unwelcome intrusion into the private life of his colleague. Similarly, the email containing a prayer sent to colleagues was perceived in much the same way. Despite Mr Drew maintaining he wished only to motivate his fellow colleagues it was pointed out that he had been asked to refrain from using religious references in works communications.
In response to the hospitals request to refrain from suing any kind of religious references in his working communications, be them verbal or oral, Mr Drew asked for clarification. He says that he was told by the Chief Executive to simply accept the request without question or alternatively to resign. Clearly unhappy with that response he explained to the Tribunal If the trust wanted him to “behave in a different way” they should give me some explanation. “The allegation that I have forced my religion onto other people, that I am some kind of religious maniac was made worse by the fact that they told me there was no need to understand what this is all about" he continued.
In fact, when asked the hospital was unable to provide more examples of his use of religious references in the workplace. Instead the hospital has attempted to show Mr Drew as having acted pedantically for questioning them further on the meaning of their request. The hearing to establish whether or not Mr Drew was unfairly dismissed is set to last ten days.