A SENIOR doctor has been sacked by an NHS trust for making allegedly racist comments about doctors on his team.

Peter Hale was dismissed from his post as a consultant surgeon at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton for gross misconduct after making allegedly discriminatory comments during a staff meeting.

He referred to four doctors - three Pakistani and one Indian - working in his digestive diseases department as “these sub-continent elements,” and said one needed “a good slap”, a tribunal was told.

His dismissal in January was revealed during the ongoing employment tribunal brought by the doctors against the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH).

They claim to have been discriminated against in their jobs because of their race, including losing out on pay, promotion and training. The trust denies the claim.

Mr Hale is not a respondent or witness in that case and is bringing his own case for unfair dismissal.

He denies his comments were racist and has said the doctors made offensive and racist remarks in front of him.

Mr Hale has lodged employment tribunal proceedings against the trust, claiming racial discrimination, unfair dismissal and breach of contract.

The case brought against BSUH by doctors Khawaja Zia, Ved Prakash, Vivek Kaul and Christi Swaminathan has been part-heard at the South London Employment Tribunal in Croydon.

The court was told of widespread concerns about the treatment of doctors working at their grade, while one claimant compared his situation to “modern-day slavery”.

Representing the trust, Ben Cooper told the start of the tribunal: “[Peter] Hale has been dismissed because of the comments he made in the December 2013 meeting and because these were held to amount to unlawful race discrimination and or racial harassment.”

He said the trust accepted the remarks were discriminatory but did not accept that meant the claimants had been treated differently due to their race.

Mr Hale became head of the digestive diseases department at the hospital in 2011 with a brief to “sort out a service which was seen as being out of control”, according to the hospital’s chief of surgery, Peter Larsen-Disney, the tribunal heard.

He is alleged to have made the comments about the doctors after they left a staff meeting in December 2013 held to discuss changes to the department, with which they disagreed. The meeting was recorded by the claimants.

According to a claim form, Mr Hale said: “These sub-continent elements, what you end up with [is] long-term resentments and grievances and all sorts of stuff.”

He also said of one of the doctors, according to Mr Prakash’s witness statement: “Chill pill? He needs a good slap. They accuse me of de-skilling them. But it’s inevitable if you behave in this way that you don’t get given the things you want.”

The tribunal is expected to hear from an external investigator, commissioned by the trust, about the fullconversation and the remarks that were that was held to be racist.

Mr Cooper apologised to Mr Prakash for the comments made by Mr Hale, but accused him and his colleagues of “adopting an inappropriate and aggressive attitude towards your colleagues in the department when you don’t get your own way”.

Mr Prakash disagreedwith the assertion which he said was “demeaning”. The trust and all individual respondents deny racial discrimination. The tribunal has been adjourned to November. as the court ran out of time.