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Pregnant doctor wins £4.5m after NHS hounded her out of job

Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust have been ordered to pay mammoth compensation totalling £4.5m to a leading doctor who was hounded out of her job. Eva Michalak endured five years of harassment and false allegations from senior doctors at the Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust before her dismissal in 2008.

An employment tribunal has already ruled she faced unlawful sex and race discrimination and last week announced record damages worth £4.5m.

Dr Michalak suffered years of psychological abuse. "They basically hounded me because I had a baby. They destroyed my life, my health and my career. The last seven years have been a living hell." The Leeds tribunal said it had been outraged at the way senior staff at the Mid Yorkshire had behaved. Dr Michalak was given damages for injury to feelings and psychiatric injury, while exemplary damages were also made against the trust.

Medical expert witness, Professor Steven Hirsch, told the tribunal Michalak suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the campaign. Professor Hirsch presented medical evidence showing she was suffering from continuing mental problems including chronic depression and anxiety. Her personality had changed owing to the severe stress she had suffered. It concluded she would never work again as a doctor. It was unlikley she would ever completely recover and would be “extremely vulnerable” to further attacks of depression.

The tribunal had heard evidence her husband Julian DeHavilland, who represented her at the hearings, had been forced to give up work to care for her and was constantly worried about the safety of both his wife and young son. She was unable to carry out everyday tasks or follow simple instructions and was reluctant to leave the house.

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