support to someone who is suspended.
Family members and friends
may feel very angry for the person you love and care about. You will
hate to see them suffering distress and shock and powerlessness and it
will make you feel very powerless.
often the people who are suspended are very hard-working and known for
injustice of what has happened will make you feel particularly angry and
you may experience very strong feelings of hate towards their managers.
may want to write to all sorts of people to put the organisation right,
including the press.
Showing you care
suspended person is not allowed to contact you at work and will not want
to bother you at home even if they have your number.
are allowed to contact them when you are not at work and it will be an
may feel shocked and sad for your colleague but may also feel very
will you say? What can you say? That you are willing to try is very
important to your colleague.
Possible ways of supporting your colleague
appropriate, consider the implications of what has happened for your own
practice and protection at work.
you need to have a meeting with your union to discuss if any actions
need to be taken such as a meeting with management to discuss the wider
Things not to say
is so hard to know what to say. We want the person to be alright. We
want to cheer them up. As is so often the case, that is hard to do! Here
are a few ‘things not to say’.
your chin up! (Up where?)
all good character building stuff! (But there’s no smoke without fire.
Our character or reputation has taken a massive knock! And suspension is
so shocking it can also destroy!)
Enjoy the rest. Make the most of it! (If it was that easy how good it would be!)
A husband's feelings about his wife's suspension
Hello Julie, I am husband of ……… and know that in her communications to you she has mentioned the anger I feel at the shoddy way she is being treated and the cruel charade that is being played out by the NHS in the name of justice. This travesty is indeed grotesque and one which ignores the individual’s rights (in law), their sense of justice and decency, their mental anguish during long periods of suspension, their enforced isolation from work colleagues who are friends, the loss of structure in their day to day routine which up to now was greatly shaped by their work - the job which has been such an important influence on all aspects of their lives. A job into which they have poured so much of themselves; these are caring people and they have chosen this work because they care deeply.
a shocking way to treat such essential and important people.
wife is dismissed from her job/career of many unblemished years and
only has recourse to legal help for the appeal stage it's probably too
late and their dismissal of her will smack of fait accompli. Mission
accomplished team, troublemaker silenced. Oh yes the NHS is not
perfect but the management have been given the power to make sure that
the Great British Public never see just how awfully imperfect it
appears to me that this power is an essential concomitant of
their(management) remit to do whatever is necessary to keep the
illusion of a highly-organised NHS striving to attain its targets,
alive. A patient-centred 'industry' where you are in safe hands and
shall be writing to our SMP soon and wonder how much Amnesty
International is aware of the totalitarian tendency in the NHS. I am
fully aware that this will be a long struggle and that my wife may not
benefit in her career from any results achieved but if the effort
helps other poor souls downstream then it will be worth while. The
destructiveness of a long suspension cannot be understated; it is time
out of joint, limboland, a stealthy form of sensory deprivation.
Essentially, you are smeared with a guilty tag, bound, gagged and left
to prove your innocence as best you can. Dreadfully sad!
is going on here is a negation of all civilised practices
won at high cost over many years.