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The Isle of Man and the Dr Ranson case. How a whistle-blower was treated by the government.

Dr Rosalind Ranson: Former Isle of Man medical director says her boss 'tried to break' her

Dr Ranson - who was unfairly dismissed from her post as a result of her whistleblowing - has shared new details about her dramatic ordeal.

The former medical director of the island has for the first time publicly opened up about her unfair dismissal. 

Rosalind Ranson said that her boss, Kathryn Magson the then Chief Executive of the DHSC, tried to ‘break’ her in an interview with the BBC this week

Last year, an employment tribunal ruled Dr Ranson had been unfairly dismissed as a result of her whistleblowing and later awarded her a £3.2 million payout. 

But whilst Dr Ranson told the Radio 4’s File on 4 NHS whistleblowing special programme that she was relieved that the tribunal had gone in her favour, she said: ‘I was out of a job and it was the end of my career. 

‘It’s been the most traumatic thing I’ve been through. 

‘At no point has it felt like a success and it’s been very difficult to get back my life and do the things that I used to enjoy.’ 

Dr Ranson had been appointed as the Medical Director of the DHSC commencing in January 2020 and agreed a contract for a fixed- term of two years. 

Shortly into her tenure, on March 13, six days before the first positive case on the island, the Manx government followed the UK, and Public Health England’s advice, and moved to delay more drastic measures. 

But the same day a powerpoint presentation by Dr Ranson and a DHSC officer to the coronavirus working group made it clear that without rapid intervention, the Manx health service would be overwhelmed, with the hospital filled to capacity within six weeks of the virus hitting. 

In an email exchange published in a Freedom of Information response Chief Executive Officer for the DHA, Dan Davies, said: ‘ I have taken some of Rosalind’s slides to help illustrate the point, but hopefully toned down.’ 

On March 15 Dr Ranson mentioned the need for border controls for essential travel through self-isolation, in the email exchange. 

There is no mention in the emails released of her specifically advocating full border closure. 

In a press briefing on March 24, the then chief minister, Howard Quayle, was asked why the government had not chosen to enforce a lockdown at that stage, to which he responded: ‘It really is based on the advice from the professionals that we get. And whilst we are waiting for that advice, we are putting in place the measures to enable us to do it.’ 

Dr Ranson told the BBC after hearing this, she thought: ‘Either the Chief Minister is misleading the public, or they didn’t get the presentation.’ 

She wrote to Kathryn Magson asking her if all of the information was passed on. 

As the tribunal ruled, this turned out to be the start of a period of hostility, marginalisation and humiliation. 

Rosalind Ranson told the tribunal that throughout 2020 she was being cut out of major decisions and began making protected disclosures. 

Dr Ranson said of Kathryn Magson: ‘She was trying to break me, maybe trying to get me to lose my temper, maybe trying to just make me not be able to cope. It was setting me up to look as if I was failing. 

‘My physical surrounding of work was removed from my office was taken from me and I asked where I was going to be able to work from and I was directed to an office, a small office of down the corridor, with a broken chair, no computer, no telephone, nothing in it completely empty. 

Dr Ranson added: ‘I only found this out two years later, that they had sent communications to each other and to many people, saying that I was incompetent, and that I agreed I was incompetent.’ 

The tribunal panel’s report says: ‘The case advanced by Dr Ranson (and as determined in the Liability Decision) was that, during 2020 and into 2021, following the humiliation, bullying, harassment and vilification that she endured from her employers, and from the Chief Executive Officer Miss Magson in particular, her health broke down.’ 

It continues: ‘Before then, from December 8, 2020, Dr Ranson had known that she would not be transferring to Manx Care on April 1 2021 as had been mutually intended at the outset. What she did not know, until exposed by evidence available in the Liability Hearing, was that she was not being transferred because of false information given by Miss Magson to Teresa Cope and Andrew Foster, the incoming Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Manx Care. 

‘Knowing it to be untrue, Miss Magson had asserted that Dr Ranson had not wished to be transferred to Manx Care. She also informed them that Dr Ranson was not up to the job of Medical Director and was being performance- managed. In any formal sense, this also was untrue. 

Dr. Philip Banfield, chairman of the British Medical Association Council told the BBC: ‘What it shows is the appalling treatment for a very senior experienced doctor trying to raise concerns and then there was more or less a witch hunt to discredit her. 

‘The issue here is that the consequence to that was patients have died and unequivocally so.’ 

Will the Isle of Man ever change ?

The Durante family judgement will be soon released and it is yet another cover up.

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