§ Mr. John MacKay
No, Sir. Responsibility for conducting disciplinary procedures rests with employing authorities, operating within the relevant NHS General Whitley council agreement.
§ Mr. Ewing
Is the Minister aware of the blatant victimisation by the Forth valley health board in general, and particularly by senior nursing management at the Falkirk royal infirmary? One of my constituents was reported for allegedly taking drugs and was subsequently prosecuted at the Falkirk sheriff court. My constituent was given an absolute discharge by that court but was subsequently called to attend a disciplinary hearing arranged by the health board and was dismissed. On what basis can the Minister defend that form of double jeopardy upon any member of nursing staff throughout Scotland, and particularly on my constituent at the Falkirk royal infirmary?
§ Mr. MacKay
The hon. Gentleman will know, from the time when he had ministerial responsibilities for health in the Scottish Office, that dismissals of the sort to which he referred can be the subject of appeal to my right hon. Friend. As the time for that appeal has not elapsed, I cannot comment further on the issue.