A SENIOR hospital consultant whistleblower is launching an appeal after losing a claim that she was sacked because she claimed that patients had been put at risk by a surgeon with suspected HIV.

Dr Sheena Pinion was paid £500,000 over four years after being put on “gardening leave” before she was dismissed by NHS Fife.

Dr Pinion has now won an employment tribunal case against the health board after she was sacked for gross misconduct.

But she lost the second part of her case in which she alleged that she was sacked because of her whistleblowing. The medic plans to appeal the decision.

Dr Pinion continues to insist that she lost her job after warning that the man, Dr X, who had admitted suffering from a dangerous blood-borne infection, was continuing to carry out inappropriate surgeries.

Dr Pinion, 59, told the Mail on Sunday yesterday: “All I wanted to do was to protect patients, and I was sacked as a result.

“I was let go because I was a whistleblower, not because of the trivial reasons they dredged up after my suspension to use against me.”

She added: “They have destroyed me in the process – my reputation and my ability to work has been destroyed by them. I was a good doctor, it was my life, and they bullied me out of there because I tried to protect patients.”

It dates back to March 2008 when Dr X, whose identity cannot be revealed, allegedly told Dr Pinion and other senior staff that he had contracted a dangerous blood-borne infection, later revealed to be HIV.

After the doctor revealed his condition, NHS Fife immediately recalled a number of patients Dr X had operated on to test them for the disease. Although the results from the patients came back negative, Dr X is said to have been asked to stop carrying out exposure-prone operations.

However Dr X allegedly continued to carry out some surgeries and Dr Pinion made a formal “protected disclosure” to NHS Fife in 2010.

She reportedly added: “Dr X was still carrying out the kind of procedures which can sometimes cause complications needing to be dealt with immediately by doing an operation – which Dr X could not do without the risk of infecting the patient. I felt it was completely unsafe.”

Dr Pinion is alleging that NHS chiefs never investigated her concerns because Dr X had influential friends.

In 2012, she was suspended. NHS Fife cited reasons such as Dr Pinion speaking over a colleague during a video conference and not responding appropriately to management in the hospital, the newspaper reported.

Dr Pinion said she was barred from working for two years but still received around £252,000 in salary. NHS Fife officially dismissed her in 2014, ending a 30-year medical career, but continued paying her while she challenged its decision, the medic said.

In its recently published ruling, the tribunal rejected her claim that she had been sacked directly because of her whistleblowing. Dr Pinion is now appealing to overturn that part of the decision.

She said: “I will probably never practise again, but I will continue fighting to prove what happened.”

NHS Fife declined to comment.