A DOCTOR fired from his “dream job” was reduced to tears while denying bullying allegations in an employment tribunal.

Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Martyn Pitman is facing the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) over “whistleblowing disclosures” which he believes led to his dismissal from the Royal Hampshire County Hospital earlier this year.

At the employment tribunal, at Southampton Magistrates Court, Mr Pitman is claiming that he suffered “vindictive persecution” after raising concerns in line with the trust’s procedures.

Mr Pitman, 57, said the case has been “psychologically challenging” and was reduced to tears while denying allegations of bullying and intimidating and threatening behaviour on day two (September 27) of the hearing.

READ MORE: Live updates as employment tribunal continues for sacked doctor

Basingstoke Gazette: Mr Pitman arriving at Southampton Magistrates Court on the first day of the hearingMr Pitman arriving at Southampton Magistrates Court on the first day of the hearing (Image: Adele Bouchard)

The former consultant, from South Wonston, told the tribunal that the bullying accusations were not upheld and were made in "quite astonishing letters which were not proven."

One of letters, written by former associate director of midwifery Janice MacKenzie, said Mr Pitman exhibited "unwelcome, intimidating and rude behaviour" which led to a "hostile working environment."

Following the allegations, from Ms MacKenzie and other managerial midwives, an investigation was carried out in 2019 by the then newly-appointed Lucy Sykes.

Mr Pitman believes Dr Sykes was too "inexperienced" for the investigation, with it being her first.

He said: "The trust, to my astonishment, said they didn't have any other trained investigators available. 

"Dr Sykes was put under immense pressure to achieve the narrative that the people above her were keen to deliver."

SEE ALSO: Sacked hospital doctor faces managers who dismissed him in tribunal

Despite saying the investigation was "entirely biased" with a focus on the trust's witnesses and not the colleagues Mr Pitman had asked to comment, he said: "I'm not challenging Dr Sykes' integrity, she was put in an impossible position. 

"I don't think she would have produced the report she did without external pressure.

"I'm not claiming that she did anything deliberately, it was not of her failing."

Employment judge Jonathan Gray disputed whether someone could be biased but still have integrity however Mr Pitman continued to back his belief that Dr Sykes was manipulated by the senior management team based at Basingstoke Hospital who wanted him fired.

The investigation found Mr Pitman had a “prevailing style of communication which caused a negative impact on the wellbeing of individuals.”

Mr Pitman asked for evidence of these communications. He said: “If the statement about my communication was serious enough then please refer to all these communications that they say challenged psychological wellbeing.

“Most people who know me would shake their head in utter disbelief that I have been criticised in this regard.”

READ ALSO: Martyn Pitman supporters out in force for start of tribunal

Mr Sutton also asked if Mr Pitman had previously said that he wanted to "ruin the trust and bring them to the ground".

To which Mr Pitman responded: "I would have never risked colleagues I have spent 20 years working with like that. It would be rather childish and arrogant to believe I could single-handedly bring the organisation to the ground.

“I could have resigned but why would I resign having spent 40 years of my life to achieve the job I wanted since I was 14?”

Upon his return to work, Mr Pitman said he was willing to jump through the necessary hoops and so completed a communication course and agreed to a mediation process which the court heard left him a broken man in need of psychological help.  

Mr Pitman recalled entering the mediation process wanting answers.

The cross examination of Mr Pitman was originally anticipated to end today but will instead continue tomorrow (September 27) before Mr Pitman’s fellow witnesses are called, including former consultant and colleague Michael Heard, one of the former maternity clinical managers Aznvik Madadi and senior employment advisor from the British Medical Association Daniel Pebody.

A separate claim of unfair dismissal will be addressed following the current two week hearing.