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Psychiatrist discusses mental impact of whistleblowing case on former medical director

Professor tells tribunal it could be years before medic is fit to return to work

It could be up to four years before the Island's former medical director is fit to return to work.

That's the testimony of a consultant psychiatrist, who's been giving evidence to a tribunal looking at her dismissal from the Department of Health and Social Care.

The remedy hearing, which previously sat in January, is seeking to calculate the payout Dr Rosalind Ranson will receive after the tribunal ruled she was unfairly dismissed for whistleblowing.

Her legal team asked Professor Tony Elliott to carry out a psychiatric evaluation on the medic in order to determine how long she may be unable to work for as a result of her experiences while working for the DHSC, and during the tribunal.

Professor Elliott discussed the impact the case has had on Dr Ranson's mental health, and the clinical symptoms it's led to.

The DHSC's legal representative Simon Devonshire KC described Professor Elliott's diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as 'controversial', but the psychiatrist insisted the symptoms are present.

Professor Elliott went on to outline how the length of time between the onset of symptoms and the start of treatment is likely to mean a longer recovery for Dr Ranson.

He estimates the medic will need two to four years to be ready to return to the workplace once she begins treatment, but that treatment would work best if it begins after the tribunal is completed.

The professor said Dr Ranson is due to give evidence to the independent Covid review, being chaired by Kate Brunner KC, and questioned whether this could further delay her recovery.

Mr Devonshire highlighted how Professor Elliott and the DHSC's expert witness both agree a return to part-time work would eventually be a beneficial part of Dr Ranson's recovery.

However, tribunal member Angela Main-Thompson questioned whether such work would be available to Dr Ranson on the Island, while reminding the hearing that Dr Ranson previously stated her wish to continue living on the Isle of Man.

When the tribunal sat in January, Dr Ranson told the panel she was unsure whether she would ever be ready to return to work.

The tribunal resumes tomorrow when the DHSC's expert witness will be giving evidence, before closing submissions are made later in the week.

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