An account of the suspension, contingent removal and termination of Devon GP Dr Roger Stephenson's contract, the subsequent High Court judgement against Devon Primary Care Trust and ongoing developments in this case.
(The Honourable Mr Justice Burton 10th July 2009, in the Royal Courts of Justice, London.)
This website is operated by a group of Dr Stephenson’s colleagues who believe he has been unfairly treated by Devon PCT. The initial allegations concerning patient care were made by his probationary partner Dr Andrew Bower to Dr Peter Jolliffe, CEO of Devon LMC. These allegations were sat on by the PCT for 5 months. We find it extraordinary that Dr Jolliffe, despite arguably being involved as a witness, then became a member of the panel that decided that a performance investigation should take place. There had been no complaints from patients that Dr Stephenson was made aware of and no adverse outcomes connected with Dr Stephenson's care. In fact the PCT had data
) that showed that his practice had better than average health outcomes. There was no attempt at an informal enquiry. The first panel Dr Snee convened to investigate Dr Stephenson had, minutes earlier, heard from Dr Bower in his “performance enquiry”. Given the nature of the allegations and the delay we can see no legitimate reason for Dr Stephenson to have been suspended while any enquiry was undertaken. In the end he was barred from his practice for over nine months while Dr Bower continued working there. The allegations were never proven. The PCT withdrew from the formal FHSAA appeal hearing just three days before it was due to be heard. We believe this was because they realised their witnesses’ evidence against Dr Stephenson would not withstand cross examination. The only reason we can see for Dr Stephenson being excluded from his practice was to protect the person who made the allegations, who subsequently was selected to run the practice. The PCT has refused
Dr Stephenson’s and Devon LMC’s requests for an enquiry into their handling of his case, despite the Strategic Health Authority recommending that the PCT conduct an audit to review the process back in November 2009.
A personal message from Dr Stephenson.
"As you can see from this website, I have been put through an extraordinarily complex, flawed and wasteful process over the last two years. It is far from complete, but following the High Court judgement, I am now in a clear enough position to say an enormous thank you to all my supporters - patients, colleagues, the primary care team at Bow, friends and family - without whom it would have been impossible to challenge the injustice.
It is a story of our time, and there is much work yet to be done in order to right the many wrongs that have been perpetrated. When they have all been addressed the full story can be told, but in the meantime I would just like to say how much I regret not being able to serve my patients. I also wish to say many, many thanks to those who have continued to believe in and help me, despite an extraordinary barrage of personal attacks. You know who you are."
Devon Primary Trust judgement Last Updated September 2013 Web Page by IT Solutions URL: http://www.devonpctjudgement.co.uk