An NHS surgeon sacked after a patient was accidentally set on fire during an operation has won almost £65,000 in a race and unfair dismissal claim reports MailOnline.
Breast specialist Obi Iwuchukwu, 57, was suspended after a woman suffered major burns whilst he operated on her in August 2013.
Mr Iwuchukwu had used an alcoholic antiseptic on the patient that ignited like a ‘flash of lightning’ when he then attempted to use a heated surgical tool to sterilise wounds.
The tribunal panel was told: ‘During the operation he was handed an alcohol, rather than aqueous, based antiseptic solution which he applied to the patient.
An investigation was launched and Mr Iwuchukwu was eventually sacked after further concerns were raised about his performance.
More than five years later – and after a lengthy legal battle – the surgeon has won compensation, successfully arguing that he had been unfairly dismissed and racially discriminated against by the hospital trust.
However, the damages he will receive are nowhere near the £5million he was originally seeking.
This included an incident in which he clashed with a German colleague who had told him ‘we are not operating out of a hut in Congo’ to which Mr Iwuchukwu replied that Britain is ‘not like Nazi Germany’.
The hospital suspended Mr Iwuchukwu and launched a series of investigations before concluding in November that year that ‘system error’ rather than individual human error was mostly to blame, the tribunal heard.
Despite this the hospital continued with the surgeon’s suspension without reviewing whether he could return to work in some fashion.
In addition, two grievances that Mr Iwuchukwu launched in 2014 against his bosses, complaining that he was being unfairly treated were mostly ignored.
As it was, following his dismissal the surgeon moved to Cornwall to take up supervised operations and has continued to work in NHS hospitals, where he is currently earning more than £100,000 a year.
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