Hereford & Worcester Ambulance Service NHS Trust v. O'Rourke, Court of Appeal - United Kingdom Employment Appeal Tribunal, October 20, 1999, [1999] UKEAT 676_99_2010

Resolution Date:October 20, 1999
Issuing Organization:United Kingdom Employment Appeal Tribunal
Actores:Hereford & Worcester Ambulance Service NHS Trust v. O'Rourke
 
FREE EXCERPT

Copyright 1999

Appeal No. EAT/676/99

EMPLOYMENT APPEAL TRIBUNAL

58 VICTORIA EMBANKMENT, LONDON EC4Y 0DS

At the Tribunal

On 20 October 1999

Before

THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE LINDSAY (PRESIDENT)

SIR GAVIN LAIRD CBE

MRS J M MATTHIAS

HEREFORD & WORCESTER

AMBULANCE SERVICE NHS TRUST APPELLANTS

MR P M O'ROURKE RESPONDENT

Transcript of Proceedings

JUDGMENT

PRELIMINARY HEARING

Revised

EAT/676/99

APPEARANCES

EAT/676/99

- 1 -

MR JUSTICE LINDSAY (PRESIDENT): This is a preliminary hearing of the appeal by Hereford & Worcester Ambulance Service NHS Trust in the matter of Mr P.M. O'Rourke against that Ambulance Service. We do not need to set out the underlying facts at all for our immediate purpose save to say only that there was a hearing of two days in February 1999 at Hereford, under the chairmanship of Mr B. Lloyd, when the Employment Tribunal decided as follows:

``The unanimous decision of the Tribunal is that the applicant was unfairly dismissed. All matters relating to remedy are adjourned for 28 days.''

1 We have a skeleton argument from Mr Dean, on behalf of the Ambulance Service, and we pick up two points in particular. At their paragraph 27, the Tribunal working their way through the familiar Burchell test, said this:

``It is our finding that beyond the evidence that the applicant and Mr Sankey had failed to obtain certification of death by a medical practitioner, all more serious allegations were based on conjecture and assumption, and subjective interpretation of the rules of guidance. We do not accept that the respondent had a genuine belief in serious conduct justifying dismissal. The respondent's investigation and the evidence on which it relied were insufficient to form any such belief.''

2 That first part ``We do not accept that the Respondent had a genuine belief in serious conduct justifying dismissal'' is a very serious allegation and the case here is made against a body which one should be able to expect to be a reasonable and responsible body, the Ambulance Service NHS Trust for Hereford and Worcester. It is tantamount to saying that the whole structure upon which the dismissal process rested was based on an absence of bona fides on the part of the Ambulance Service and no reason is given for that at all and no evidence justifying it is identified by the Tribunal. Whether it is, or is not, in fact justified as a well founded conclusion is one thing, but, even were it to be well founded, a party is entitled to be shown the...

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