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Employment law: Gardening leave for surgeon who told Cameron "I'm not having it"

The senior orthopaedic surgeon at Guy's Hospital, who disrupted the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister's photocall last week when he reprimanded them and their media entourage for failing to comply with hygiene requirements, has reportedly been put on gardening leave by the hospital.

A patient has told the Independent newspaper that a registrar at the hospital told him David Nunn, 57, had been reprimanded for the incident and sent on leave.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg were visiting the hospital for a photocall to announce the u-turn for plans for the NHS. They were accompanied by a television crew and several journalists.

Video footage of the incident, which went viral on YouTube, shows Dr Nunn interrupting the politicians' conversation with a patient, saying: "Excuse me, I'm the senior orthopaedic surgeon in this department. Why is it that we're all told to walk around like this and these people aren't?" and showing his bared forearms to the camera.

What Dr Nunn didn't know was that a few minutes earlier, the ward sister had told the camera crew and journalists they could be exempt from the strict hygiene requirements because they were not going to come into contact with any patients.

Dr Nunn then went out into the corridor where he could be heard saying: "All of you get out! I'm not having it."

Peter Hodgson, 63, who was seen by Dr Nunn on the morning of the incident, told the Independent that when he went in for a follow-up appointment, he was told the surgeon had been reprimanded and sent on gardening leave.

Gardening leave is usually used when an employee is dismissed and the employer wants the employee to stay away from work for the notice period.

The hospital maintains that the surgeon requested leave under his own initiative.

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