Campaign Against Unnecessary Suspensions & Exclusions in the NHS (CAUSE)

More Help


We hope these resources, provided by Craig, a team member, with some re-organisation by myself Julie, will help you decide what further actions you can take as you face unjustified/unnecessary/unlawful disciplinary procedures.  There is lots of food for thought.

Very important note: Remember we are not legally qualified and that the law changes regularly so please check that these resources are up to date.


A.Most important resources in order of importance

1.SUSPENSION – what to expect and how to manage practically  

See page entitled ‘Suspended?’

2.Acas – (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service). Vital information.
The more you know about employment law and best practice the more you will be able to challenge poor practice by your employer.

In our experience, poor practice is endemic in the NHS.  A manager has made a poor decision and now has to justify their action.

Hence the witch hunt that may follow to make additional allegations against you.

Be warned: sometimes colleagues who you thought were friends or at least sympathetic, but who fear for their own jobs and mortgage, keep silent, or worse, contribute to the witch hunt.


From the Acas website – The Acas Code of Practice sets out the basic requirements of fairness that will be applicable in most cases; it provides the standard of reasonable behaviour for most cases.  (And yes, your employer is ignoring it – my addition.)

The Code will help employers, employees and representatives deal with disciplinary and grievance issues in the workplace.

The Acas helpline number is 0300 123 1100. It is available Monday 8am-8pm, Tuesday 8am-6pm, Wednesday to Thursday 8am-8pm and Friday 8am-6pm.

They can also be contacted by their on line service.

Also of value is their description of mediation as a cost effective way of reaching an outcome that both parties can agree to, that maintains the employer – employee relationship.  Sadly I have never known it be used in these circumstances.

3.Written Statements – Guide about their purpose and how to write them.  (Left click on the title and a link should appear. Left click on the link and the page should open.  Please let me know if there is a problem.  Thanks.)

4.Written Statement – Guide to jog your memory

B.Additional Resources Section in alphabetical order

 Please note that Craig often quotes Handling Concerns about the Performance of Healthcare Professionals: Principles of good practice. These were jointly published in September 06 by the Department of Health and the National Patient Safety Agency for all non medical staff working in England.  Thanks to someone’s Freedom of Information request, the Department of Health says ‘This was produced as a guidance document for managers and professionals which outlined  key  principles  and  elements  for  handling  performance concerns;  it  was  not  intended  to  replace  organisations’  own  policies  and procedures.    Whilst  many  of  the  principles  will  remain  true,  it  has  become outdated  because  it  refers  to  structures  and  organisations  which  have  been
out of existence since 2006’ ie the same year or a mistake?  This gives you an idea of what you are up against!

All these resources will need adapting to your own circumstances and in your own words of course, reflecting who you are and how you speak.  (Left click on the title and a link should appear. Left click on the link and the page should open.  Please let me know if there is a problem.  Thanks.)

Alternative Dispute Resolution Guide, using mediation

Appeal Letter – Dismissal or Disciplinary Action

Appeal Letter – Exclusion – CEO

Appeal Letter to the Chief Executive Officer to review ongoing suspension

Appeal Letter – Grievance Decision

Compromise agreements now known as settlement agreements – see

Compromise, Settlement & Termination – Craig’s thoughts about the implications of settling

Conflict – Quotes and Inspirations

Costs and Losses – Summary.  Includes a comprehensive list of damages to the suspended employee

Crisis management guide: original version by Craig

Dismissal – Guide to decision factors for Employers and Employees

Exclusion – Letter commenting to Employer

Exclusion – Letter to Human Resources, Chief Executive Officer

Exclusion – Record of meeting

Freedom to Care’s Charter of Accountability

Grievance Letter – lodge a grievance

Hearings – acknowledge attendance with list of requirements regarding fair treatment of witnesses

Investigations – extensive notes and case management

Letter to Access Records using a Freedom of Information request

Letter to dispute minutes of meeting – VERY IMPORTANT because this is often an issue, whether intentionally or just by poor minute taking.

NMC Registrants Response to allegations

Notes Minutes and Statements – Checklist.  SEE ALSO Letter to dispute minutes of meeting

Persuading, influencing, negotiating – 18 pages of thoughtful reflection and strategies

Politics games, ploys and strategies – planning and then presenting confidently

Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) 1998  Declaration of Disclosure letter when all other avenues have failed

Raising Concerns informally with the person with whom you have a problem – action plan

Raising Concerns – Letter to Line Manager covering various concerns, that is:- poor practice, accountability for unqualified staff,  inadequate number of qualified staff on shift, lack of support as newly qualified staff nurse, hostile team environment, equality of shifts, training opportunities

Raising Concerns – written request to person to change their conduct

Raising Concerns – Whistleblowing Criteria and Action

Reports for Investigations – Notes re their purpose, legal issues, how to write them

Representation – Case Summation:- headings and points to use, to sum up your case

Representation – Hearings, Meetings, Checklist and Notes

Representation – Investigatory meeting; Checklist and Notes

Representation – Meeting, Checklist and Agenda

Representation – Questions to ask witnesses and manager making allegations

Representation – Statement of Case

Representation – Strategy for a hearing:- coping mechanisms, presenting your case, time out, if hearing not going well

Representation – Summation

Safety – 7 Steps to Safety published by the NHS – how safety issues should be handled

Safety – Incident Decision Tree tool.  See also which describes how it was developed, an explanation for an American audience.

Safety Root Cause Analysis Summary to identify systems failure

Statement of case Appeal against Dismissal

Statement of Case Appeal by an Individual

Statement of Case fuller outline: In particular see appendix A Interpretation of Negligence and appendix B Interpretation of harm

Witnesses – Letter to witnesses asking them to attend your hearing, their rights and what will be asked of them.


C.Forms (templates) for you to use, in alphabetical order

Action Planner

Chronology of events, template

Chronology of letters, template

Costs and Losses – Costings (Specific Event)

Costs and Losses – Retrievable (description and costs)

Costs and Losses – Travel

Diary 1 template (events)

Diary 2 important template (incident)

Exclusion – Record of meeting

Filing System – template

Incident Report Log – to record all the concerns you may have reported

List – get done and delegated

Representation – Interview and Meeting – Written Notes template

Representation – Meeting Notes; forms to use

Signed Receipt for a document

Statement of Case Appeal Template

Statement of Case Grievance template

Statement of Truth

Verbal Reporting Log

Witnesses – Checklist

Witnesses – List of Attendees

Written Statements – Template



Legal advice from solicitors who specialise in employment law. You can find out who your local employment solicitors are by looking at The site will also give you advice about the service solicitors offer and how to prepare for meetings with them.