The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT) is appealing the whistleblowing element of a tribunal ruling which led to a £1.2 million payout to a former NHS boss.
An employment tribunal ruled in March 2010 that John Watkinson, ex-chief executive of the RCHT, had been unfairly sacked as the trust had failed to follow proper procedures during his dismissal. In August, the tribunal ordered the RCHT to pay Watkinson £1.2 million for the whistleblowing part of his claim.
Watkinson was suspended in 2008 after concerns about his management. He claims he was later sacked because he was about to go public with legal advice that suggested the transfer of cancer services outside his county was unlawful without a public inquiry.
The RCHT has accepted that it unfairly dismissed Waktinson but has appealed the whisteblowing element of the judgment. The Employment Tribunal Appeals service has allowed the appeal, which may not be heard until next year.
Compensation for a successful whistleblowing claim is unlimited as the statutory cap for unfair dismissal compensation does not apply if the reason for the sacking is protected disclosure. If the employee was on a high salary, this can result in a large compensation award. Before his dismissal, Mr Watkinson earned around £148,000 per year.