Is this the end of unjustified, unlawful suspensions of NHS staff if Baroness Harding and her advisers’ immediately to be implemented recommendations are followed?
After Amin Abdullah tragically took his own life in 2016 following his unfounded suspension and dismissal, an independent inquiry undertaken by Verita Consulting found what we all know about the disastrous unjust processes that can destroy people and their careers. See https://i.emlfiles4.com/cmpdoc/9/7/2/8/1/1/files/56794_letter-to-chairs-and-chief-executives-24-may-2019.pdf
‘Some of the proposed recommendations will require further discussion with key stakeholders, including regulatory and professional bodies (in particular, I am keen that consideration and assessment of the ‘health’ of organisational culture, including aspects relating to the management of workplace issues, is given more prominence in the ‘well-led’ assessment domain). The majority, though, can be immediately received and applied.’
I sincerely hope that the unions have read these recommendations and are holding organisations to account so that staff are no long destroyed. Sadly, in light of their past performance, I’m not optimistic. I would love to hear of any trusts or unions that are actually following the recommendations. Update: Mixed outcomes – no use for one person (trust claimed they were following the guidelines), useful for another though case not resolved.
Campaign Against Unnecessary Suspensions & Exclusions in the NHS
If you have been suspended please click on Suspended? to find out what you can expect and what you can do. Please note – the main information is the Suspended? page, with additional pages of help below it such as Coping and Effects.
If you have been referred to the NMC Fitness to Practice, there is a very active support and information confidential closed group on Facebook called NMC Watch: Registrant Care https://www.facebook.com/groups/460231920997990. They are campaigning and also crowdfunding so they can help with some legal support for registrants who have none. Documents are under the NMC Watch heading, including how to appeal being struck off.
(From the Facebook site – NMCWatch is a safe space for those undergoing FtP or disciplinary at work to talk about their experiences and get peer support. We have all been through it so understand the impact it can have. The hardest thing about going through this process is the isolation from colleagues – now you have a network of people who understand and can do just this.
When you send a request to join, one of our admins will contact you via private message to run through how the group works and basic ground rules.
Anyone that doesn’t comply with this process will sadly be declined.
Although there is no rush to tell your story – in time we hope you will feel safe to do so and / or engage regularly with the discussions on here to get the most out of the group.
For more general information please visit our website for more information: https://andrewwatters3.wixsite.com/mysite
If you have sent a request to join please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we know to look out for you
The NMCWatch admin team)
Friends of NMC Watch is also a closed group set up for supporters and those who fear a referral to the NMC. Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/240670966803752
Campaign Co-ordinator for NMC Watch Registrant Care: Cathryn Watters
Campaign Co-ordinators for Suspension-NHS.org (CAUSE): Julie Fagan, Craig Longstaff, Andre Downer, Elsie Gayle (midwifery spokesperson), Dave Williams (Welsh spokesperson – click here for Welsh info) and Kate Wynn (Scottish spokesperson – click here for Scottish info).
To say welcome to you, if you or a family member or friend, has been suspended and/or referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), is not helpful if you have been suspended or referred unjustly, unnecessarily, unlawfully. Instead we offer great concern for you at this horrendous time.
We offer you the knowledge that you are not alone, that there is an enormous number of people out there who have an idea how you are suffering and what you are experiencing, having been there themselves.
We also offer you information and encouragement, as you fight your corner. NMC Watch also offers direct and confidential help through their Facebook page
A very important fact about suspension – by its very nature, it cannot be described as a neutral act and this has now been recognised in law (see http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2007/106.html) also the footnote to http://www.bailii.org/ ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/138.html) Employers and unions don’t seem to have understood this yet. The same devastation is caused through referral.
Employers have responsibilities to ensure their employees‘ personal details are respected and properly protected. If this doesn’t happen, for example people hear that you are suspended, then contact the above organisation to complain and report your employer. If your complaint is upheld, at the least, you should receive an apology.
Are you a whistleblower without realising it?
Think about what might have contributed to becoming a target for the action taken against you. Were you regularly reporting critical incidents, shortage of staff, concerns about the lack of skills to deal with patients with complex conditions?
There is a national integrated whistleblowing policy that will help standardise the way NHS organisations should support staff who raise concerns. Recommended by Sir Robert Francis in his Freedom to Speak up review, (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sir-robert-francis-freedom-to-speak-up-review) this policy contributes to the need to develop a more open and supportive culture that encourages staff to raise any issues of patient care quality or safety. (You need to be very, very careful taking such a step. Whistleblowing should be unnecessary where there is a healthy culture.)
Freedom to speak up: whistleblowing policy for the NHS
Note: A whistleblower has contacted me to say that joining twitter has enabled her to make very helpful contact with others – a lifeline.
NHS Improvement is responsible for helping whistleblowers back into work. See https://improvement.nhs.uk/events/whistleblowers-support-scheme-launch/ (NHS England is responsible for helping primary care workers.) 22 Sep 2017 – Our whistleblowers‘ support scheme will help staff in secondary care who have suffered detriment as a result of raising concerns to find …
This is a work in progress. Please make direct contact to find out how to apply. Thanks
A better way
It is time organisations stopped the blame and destroy culture so many experience, which impacts on patient care and staff health. See https://mdxminds.com/2017/09/19/rethinking-disciplinary-action-in-the-nhs by Roger Kline, Research Fellow Middlesex University Business School.
Disclaimer: Please remember that we are not legally qualified and that laws change frequently so always check out what you find on these pages.
We are all volunteers and we all have direct experience of the devastation of suspension in the NHS. This site was set up to inform, help and campaign. We are not linked to any solicitors firms, insurance companies etc..