Legal News

In a case on medical training, the EAT held it was an error for the tribunal to treat the NHS as one entity.

The EAT said that the legal tests for reasonable adjustments need to be applied separately to each body (eg each Trust, HEE), bearing in mind for example what steps each would be able to take.

In County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, and Health Education England (HEE) v Jackson Dr Jackson was training to be a consultant anaesthetist when she suffered an anaphylactic reaction due to latex allergy, whilst working at the Trust’s hospital. After various discussions, HEE informed her it was withdrawing her deanery reference number on grounds of her inability to complete the training programme.

The EAT overturned the tribunal’s decision that there was a failure to make reasonable adjustments. For example, the tribunal had held it would be reasonable for both bodies to provide a latex free/light environment even though HEE had no control over conditions in any hospital, and the Trust had no control over other Trusts’ hospitals nor where HEE assigned trainees. The EAT left open that the case might be reconsidered by a tribunal applying the correct approach.

More on this case: Examples of adjustments: Exams and training: Involvement of multiple bodies.