7. 2 NHAP Disciplinary panel statement redacted .pdf

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Statement to the National Health Action Party Executive Committee by the
appeal panel hearing for the disciplinary action of 7th August 2016 against
Dr. Bob Gill
Redacted Version
As you are aware a panel met for the appeal hearing for Dr. Bob Gill on
Saturday 21st October at Conway Hall regarding the outcome of the
disciplinary hearing held by the National Health Action Party (NHAP) Executive
Committee on the 7th August 2016. Dr. Bob Gill was sanctioned with
expulsion from the party for five years, on grounds of rudeness, verbally and
on social media, and of bringing the party into disrepute.
The appeal panel, appointed by the NHAP Executive Committee, was
comprised of: Dr. Paul Hobday (chair), AB, CD, EF and GH. IJ was unable to
attend at very short notice hence Dr. Hobday joined the panel. Dr. Bob Gill
attended and had engaged the services of a Human Resource professional, KL,
who presented the case on his behalf. Three witnesses were available to
present evidence in Dr. Gill’s defence; the panel heard from one witness who
preferred not to be named publicly and adjourned the appeal without hearing
from the others.
The panel were asked to consider whether there was substantive fault in the
process leading to the outcome, or whether the penalty was disproportionate.
They were advised that, as cited in the NHAP Disciplinary Appeal Procedure,
potential grounds for substantive fault included:




Flawed process, e.g. due notice not being given
Flawed evidence presented
A clear case of discrimination where a comparable case has been
treated differently

The panel did not review evidence for the alleged misconduct which led to
disciplinary action.
The panel was unanimous that the disciplinary decision against Dr. Bob Gill
be overturned on grounds of substantive fault in process, and
disproportionate penalty. The panel also made further recommendations for
redress, and for review of process, detailed below.
The panel heard from Dr. Paul Hobday a narrative of the disciplinary process of
7th August 2016 and of the events leading to it. The panel heard evidence for

eighteen points of flawed process from Dr. Gill’s representative; Dr. Gill also
had a substantial file of documentary evidence which the panel did not review
in detail. The panel were unanimous that the disciplinary procedure was in
breach of all three categories of substantive fault, and that the penalty was
disproportionate. Reasons included, but were not limited to:











The NHAP disciplinary procedure was voted into being during the
same meeting (7th August 2016) that the disciplinary hearing against
Dr. Bob Gill was held. The defendant was therefore not provided with
due notice.
o There is some dispute about this in the minutes of 7th August;
some claimed the procedure was agreed by email prior to the
meeting although there is no evidence of when, if at all, Dr. Gill
was informed prior to 7th August that his disciplinary hearing
was to be held, or under what terms (i.e. the content of the
procedures), or on what grounds (i.e. the specific charges
against him, with evidence).
The newly-approved disciplinary procedure is unfit for purpose. Flaws
include but are not limited to: not compliant with national standards
(ACAS code), although such compliance had been proposed during
drafting ; no concept of innocence until proven guilty, again this had
been proposed during drafting but rejected; no scope for variable
outcomes; no staged sanctions e.g. warnings; no devices for
mediation.
Dr. Gill was given ten minutes to present his defence.
The panel heard that evidence cited against Dr. Bob Gill at the
disciplinary hearing included social media content up to four years
old, which had long been deleted.
The panel heard that Dr. Clive Peedell had been verbally abusive to
the Executive Committee at their meeting of 10th July 2016. It was
also reported that Dr. Clive Peedell had been verbally abusive to
members of staff in the months prior to July prompting the
resignation of one of them. Such behaviour is comparable to that
alleged against Dr. Gill and cited as grounds for Dr. Gill’s sanction,
and yet disciplinary action was not called against Dr. Peedell, implying
discrimination.
The NHAP is a registered UK political party, which has contested
elections and fields an elected representative, and enjoys a high-

profile media presence. A five-year ban on grounds of misconduct
from such an organisation is potentially seriously damaging to Dr.
Gill’s personal reputation and his career as medical professional; i.e.
it is disproportionate to the alleged offences. The panel heard that
the executive committee had intended to announce the disciplinary
action publicly prior to appeal, which the panel regards as a highly
inappropriate action.
The panel noted in particular the discrepancy between the haste and lack of
due process on the part of the NHAP Executive Committee in executing the
disciplinary procedure and sanction on the one hand, and on the other the
potentially serious, profound and lasting negative impact on Dr. Gill’s personal
life and professional career. The panel understand that such action by the
party could open it to legal redress, but that the party is not indemnified for
any losses which might thus occur.
The panel recommend that the executive committee issue a formal
retraction of the disciplinary action, that they offer Dr. Bob Gill immediate
reinstatement of Executive membership of the party, a full and unreserved
apology, and reimbursement for costs incurred in his defence. Dr. Gill’s
dignity in responding to the mistakes made is not only commendable, but
acts in the best interests of the National Health Action Party.
The panel also recommend that the Executive Committee takes the
opportunity to learn from this episode, and to develop an appropriate code of
conduct and robust disciplinary procedures. Dr Gill’s representative will
compile a full report of the concerns she presented on Dr Gill’s behalf; Dr. Gill
indicated he will be willing to share this with the executive committee to
facilitate learning.
Summary
The appeal panel report that:
1. The disciplinary action against Dr. Bob Gill should be overturned on all
three grounds of substantive fault.
The panel were unanimous in this decision.
The appeal panel unanimously recommend that the NHAP Executive
Committee take the following actions:
2. Issue a formal retraction of the disciplinary action against Dr. Bob Gill.

3. Offer Dr. Bob Gill immediate reinstatement of Executive membership of
the party
4. Offer Dr. Bob Gill a full and unreserved apology
5. Offer Dr. Bob Gill reimbursement for costs incurred in his defence
6. Commission a person of appropriate expertise to lead the following
exercises:
a. Develop and implement a clear code of conduct for all Executive
members, Candidates standing for election, and elected
Representatives. Make explicit reference to social media content.
b. Redraft the disciplinary process to reflect at least the minimum
requirements set out by ACAS which constitute a fair procedure
c. Redraft the appeals procedure to reflect at least the minimum
requirements that ACAS which constitute to be a fair procedure
7. Ensure that the redrafting of the code of conduct, disciplinary process
and appeals process must be conducted in an open manner, including
publication of preliminary drafts, and an appropriate period of time set
aside for consultation with the membership and that they are applied
equally and fairly without discrimination. No disciplinary proceedings
to be held until the new procedures are approved.
8. Consider having someone on the board as an adviser on these matters
with the relevant expertise
9. Consider if any other individuals have acted inappropriately and if any
actions need to be taken.
10. If the executive so wish, to ask the author of the report (KL) to present
its findings and answer any questions the executive may have as a result.

NHAP Disciplinary Appeal Panel
Dr . Paul Hobday (Chair)
AB
CD
EF
GH
28rd October 2016


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