Nigeria-born breast surgeon wins nearly £65,000 for unfair dismissal in UK

Obi Iwuchukwu

Nigeria-born breast surgeon Obi Iwuchukwu who was sacked by the NHS in the United Kingdom after a patient was accidentally set on fire during an operation has won £63,504 in a race and unfair dismissal claim.

The 57-year-old was suspended after a woman suffered major burns while 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.

An employment tribunal heard that all staff involved in the incident at the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Trust hospital received counselling.

Iwuchukwu was sacked following further concerns about his performance.

He had originally sought for £5million as damages.

The latest tribunal in Newcastle heard that Iwuchukwu began work in Sunderland as a general surgeon with an interest in breast surgery in 2007.

The panel heard Iwuchukwu, the only black man of African origin working there, clashed with some of his colleagues during his time at the hospital, some of which were on racial basis.

The tribunal heard that two grievances that Iwuchukwu launched in 2014 against his bosses, complaining that he was being unfairly treated were mostly ignored, Daily Mail reports.

Judge Andrew Buchanan, ruling on the matter, said:“ Everything points to the exclusion…being a knee-jerk reaction to the serious incident on 13 August 2013 on the assumption that the claimant was responsible for it but it became clear by early November 2013, at the latest, that (it) was not the fault of (Iwuchukwu).

Following his dismissal, the Nigerian 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.