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Injunction granted to doctor on restricted duties

5 October 2018

The High Court has granted an injunction to a doctor on restricted duties, requiring the defendant NHS Trust to lift the restriction and allow him to return to full time work.

The doctor was restricted to working two days a week pending an investigation into his conduct. Whilst the High Court accepted that he was not excluded from his job, the restrictions were found to be demeaning and humiliating, with adverse effects on his mental health. The High Court therefore granted the injunction on the basis that there were no adequate grounds on which the restrictions should have been imposed. It was held that there would be a serious injustice to the claimant if the restrictions were allowed to continue, and that careful consideration was required to determine whether the restrictions were necessary and proportionate.

Employers in the NHS should be aware that the court is willing to grant injunctions to end restricted duties in cases where there is a risk of serious injustice to the claimant, even where it is agreed that the restrictions do not amount to an exclusion. Trusts should take care to ensure any restrictions on duties are necessary and proportionate in all the circumstances.

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