A SACKED surgeon is still waiting to receive damages after being unfairly dismissed from Basildon Hospital in 2012.

Arjuna Weerasinghe, 54, successfully fought hospital bosses who got rid of him after claiming he travelled to a job interview and seminars while he was off sick with chest problems.

He claimed he had contracted pneumonia while working in dirty operating theatres at the hospital.

The specialist heart surgeon claimed he was singled out after raising concerns about the hospital.

In July 2014, an employment tribunal ruled he was unfairly dismissed as he had been entitled to the sick leave he was claiming.

The total payout for lost earnings and pensions is still being debated.

The surgeon raised concerns in 2011 claiming there was no absorption aid to stem a huge bleed during a 61-year-old patient’s heart surgery. The patient died three days later.

Mr Weerasinghe told the employment tribunal the equipment could have helped save the patient’s life, and said he had told the hospital at the time.

The tribunal concluded Mr Weerasinghe had done nothing wrong in going to the interview and seminars while on sick leave and he had been unfairly dismissed for gross misconduct in 2012.

A spokesman from Basildon Hospital said: “We can confirm the trust has recently received a judgment from the employment tribunal regarding the award of damages to be made to Mr Weerasinghe.

“To reiterate the original judgement concluded that Mr Weerasinghe was not dismissed for raising issues relating to patient care. This case relates to historic allegations which date back to 2011 and we acknowledge that some concerns were made about historic practice. Since this time the trust has made significant improvements to the service we provide for patients. Out of respect to Mr Weerasinghe, we do not intend to comment on the details of this matter further.”

The payout will be increased due to the hospital’s conduct at arbitration.