Health disclosure ruling triggers OH form review

Cheltenham Borough Council is expected to publish a review of its recruitment practices next month, particularly the disclosure of health conditions by prospective staff, following its court battle with a former managing director.

The council lost a £1m High Court battle against Christine Baird in June, who it had accused of knowingly witholding a history of mental health problems when she applied for the role in 2002. She left the council in 2005 on an ill-health pension.

But the council’s case was thrown out, with the judge finding Laird had not made false statements on a medical questionnaire after being offered the job.

Since then, the council’s occupational health form for new applicants has been significantly revised and a cross-party working group set up to review recruitment and disciplinary procedures, working with the council’s auditors KPMG.

This is expected to evaluate how the case was handled, and when decisions were made and why, the council said.

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