Warwick Hospital diabetes consultant Dr Shirine Boardman's sacking: appeal result

Warwick Hospital has upheld its sacking of a senior doctor - despite public calls to bring her back.

South Warwickshire General Hospitals Trust dismissed diabetes consultant Dr Shirine Boardman for gross misconduct following an investigation and subsequent disciplinary hearing held on July 22.

She had been found to have transferred more than 80 patient records from an audit database to the Apnee Sehat organisation.

Dr Boardman is a director of the public benefit company, set up to reduce diabetes in south Warwickshire's Asian population.

The consultant appealed against her dismissal, but the original decision has been upheld following a hearing on December 18.

A number of Courier readers had supported Dr Boardman's appeal after being treated by her.

Comment on the decision on the Courier Blog.

They staged a demonstration outside the hospital on the day of her appeal hearing last month, calling for her reinstatement.

But statement released by the trust on Thursday said the disclosure of confidential patient information had been against "explicit, repeated, consistent advice" not to do so without patient consent, and had breached NHS disclosure guidelines.

The database included records relating to several deceased patients and, together with other patients at least one deceased patient's relative was contacted by Apnee Sehat.

The hospital had to write to the patients concerned to apologise and explain the circumstances in which their confidentiality was breached.

A spokesman said: "Our patients have to be able to rely on us to protect their confidentiality and we have put in place effective systems to provide that protection.

"If any member of staff, no matter how senior, deliberately does something which undermines those systems, then are bound to take action against them.

"We take patient confidentiality and other data protection issues extremely seriously.

"Although there was no suggestion of any of this data being lost, after hearing detailed evidence and submissions we felt we had no alternative but to dismiss Dr Boardman.

"The investigation was overseen by the Trust's Caldicott guardian, a senior clinician charged with upholding patient confidentiality. This is an extremely important principle enshrined in the NHS and medical profession and fundamental to the relationship of trust between a doctor or hospital and a patient."