An Army chief has told an employment tribunal he feared a doctor could “pose a security risk” after discovering he campaigned for a full inquest into the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly.
Dr Stephen Frost claims he was dismissed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for whistleblowing in September 2013 - after he raised concerns when a patient at Weeton Barracks was given methadone sulphate which was six times the intended dose.
I certainly formed an opinion that if Dr Frost wished to return to the MoD as a locum then, if that were to occur, it might raise extra issues
He has accused the MoD of libelling him in emails, sent after his dismissal and forwarded to his primary care trust in North Wales, which mentioned his campaign to reopen the case of Dr Kelly, his links to a “left wing conspiracy theorist” website and his love of Russia.
Colonel John Burgess, head of clinical operations for the Army, told the tribunal he was sent the emails by Colonel Carson Black, the then regional healthcare director for the north.
One of the emails said: “Having read widely at the weekend, it’s clear to me Dr Frost has an axe to grind and it surprises me that he has chosen to work in the MoD environment when his views are so strong.” In a statement, Col Burgess said he was concerned by the information and said: “He might even pose a security risk.”
He told the tribunal: “I certainly formed an opinion that if Dr Frost wished to return to the MoD as a locum then, if that were to occur, it might raise extra issues.”
Col Burgess replied to one of Col Black’s emails saying: “You are amazing, thank you so much for doing this research.” He said he may have forwarded the emails on to a colleague but did not send them to the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which was deciding whether to strike Dr Frost off its list of approved doctors.
Dr Frost, 69, from Colwyn Bay, had been working as a locum GP at the barracks when he discovered a pharmacy technician had given the higher dose of morphine sulphate to an Army veteran.
The tribunal has heard the patient denied receiving the stronger tablets, although the technician said they had been dispensed.
Dr Frost, who was employed by agency Castlerock Recruitment Group (CRG) but had worked for the MoD since 1996, said he raised concerns about potential criminal activity with colleagues.
The MoD has claimed Dr Frost was dismissed for failing in his “duty of candour” to inform the patient of the mistake and could have returned to work had he undertaken a performance review.
The tribunal is now due to resume in January for further evidence.