A DOCTOR who says he was victimised after raising concerns about patient care has written an open letter demanding a full investigation by the Scottish Government.

Dr Sukhomoy Das, who was invited to take part in Sir Robert Francis' review of the way the NHS treats whistleblowers, is demanding a probe into the issues he raised and believes were covered up.

Dr Das, who is still employed by the NHS working with stroke patients, says he raised concerns about the quality of locum cover hired by his former health board, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, back in 2006.

The board insists his concerns, which included patients being misdiagnosed, were fully probed at the time and no patient safety issues were identified.

However, the board has twice paid settlements to Dr Das since 2006 after failing to interview him for two different jobs.

On the first occasion he says he signed a gagging clause attached to an out-of-court deal. He says he has breached this because he believes it is in the interest of patients and staff to expose what happened.

Last year Dr Das was awarded £8,600 following an employment tribunal after NHS Ayrshire and Arran were found to have victimised him.

Dr Das said: "I want Shona Robison to investigate the cover-up. I want my old job back. I want to be able to work for Ayrshire and Arran."

Because of his gagging clause, Dr Das says he was not able to bring all the evidence he wanted to air to the tribunal.

The letter he has written to Health Secretary Shona Robison and Paul Gray, chief executive of NHS Scotland, says: "It is abundantly clear from the recently published 'Freedom to Speak Up Review' by Sir Robert Francis that covert discrimination had been perpetrated by the NHS management against whistleblowers over the years.

"The report also highlighted the inadequacies of the Employment Tribunal when it decides on cases of whistleblowing within the NHS.

"It states, 'ETs are not able or equipped to judge whether a disclosure has been managed appropriately. They are not the place for patient safety concerns to be heard...'"

He goes on to ask for an investigation into his original patient safety concerns, the reimbursement of his legal fees, an apology from the health board and his old job back.

He also asks for an investigation into "how many other doctors and nurses are covertly blacklisted by the NHS in Scotland."

Health Secretary Shona Robison has responded to Dr Das, suggesting the issues he raises about his employment dispute have been dealt with.

In a statement Ms Robison said: "All NHS staff should have the confidence to speak up without fear and with the knowledge that any genuine concern will be treated seriously and investigated properly.

"Under NHS Scotland Staff Governance Standards, boards must ensure that it is safe and acceptable for staff to speak up about wrongdoing or malpractice within their organisation, particularly in relation to patient safety and ensure any concerns are robustly investigated.

"Work is already underway to develop a robust package of measures which encourage and support staff to raise any concerns they may have about practices in NHSScotland. We also welcome the Freedom to Speak Up Review, which will inform our thinking.

"While there is more to be done, it is promising that the NHS Scotland 2014 staff survey results show increasing numbers of NHS workers are prepared to speak out."

In a statement NHS Ayrshire and Arran said: "Dr Das has been in regular contact with NHS Ayrshire & Arran since the outcome of the Employment Tribunal. We have responded to requests for information and are currently in the process of responding to his most recent letter.

"We do not accept Dr Das's allegation that board employees lied or misled the Employment Tribunal.

"We fully investigated the concerns raised by Dr Das in 2006 and no patient safety concerns were identified. NHS Ayrshire & Arran has never set any restrictions as to Dr Das's ability to raise concerns about patient safety."

The board added that they have a culture of openness and an extensive patient safety and quality improvement programme in place.