The trust and three senior staff members have now been ordered to pay Polish-born Dr Michalak £4,452,206.60 for the sex and race discrimination.
A tribunal earlier this year heard that senior staff members began a “plan” to get rid of Dr Michalak at a secret meeting in March 2003, when she was seven months pregnant. Dr Michalak began to receive complaints and criticism against her and was accused of bullying junior doctors.
The tribunal heard that references were repeatedly made to Dr Michalak’s Polish origin during telephone conversations and meetings between her colleagues, where they questioned her competency because she trained in her home country.
In January 2006 she was suspended before being subjected to “a lengthy and wholly unauthorised period of suspension”. Disciplinary proceedings began in May 2007 and Dr Michalak was dismissed in July 2008.
The tribunal judgement states: “As a consequence of that dismissal the Claimant has lost her role and status as a Hospital Consultant, as we will ultimately find she is never going to return to work as a doctor, a profession which she, in common with both of her parents, cherished together with all the status that that brings with it.”
Medical experts said that Dr Michalak suffered from “chronic and disabling” post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety which had led to “an enduring personality change.”
Julia Squire, chief executive at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, told the BBC: “We have unreservedly apologised to Dr Michalak for mistakes of the past and I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that apology in public.
“We took last year’s tribunal judgment extremely seriously and immediately had an independent review carried out. This found no evidence of widespread discrimination across the trust and has helped us shape further improvements to ensure that what happened in the past is never repeated in the future.”
She added: “We have only just received the judge’s decision on the compensation and this is based on very complex and lengthy calculations.
“We will need time to carefully consider these but ensuring high-quality patient care continues will be paramount in any decision.”