Whistleblower awarded £80,000 compensation against Allied Healthcare Group

2014-07-07 Jennifer Renney-Butland posted:

A nurse has been awarded £80,000 compensation by an Employment Tribunal following the decision that she was unfairly dismissed after suffering detrimental treatment for making protected disclosures, commonly known as whistle blowing, regarding her concerns about the safety of patients.

Ms Elaine Fernandez, who had been working for the Allied Healthcare Group since October 2009, first began raising concerns about the safety of her patients in 2011 to the local health board who commissioned the Group to provide nursing services. She argued that her patients could not be properly cared for by Health Care Assistants because they lacked the required skills. Ms Fernandez’s concerns were forwarded by the Board to her managers at Allied Healthcare hours later.

In response to her complaints, Ms Fernandez was threatened with disciplinary action and was warned by her managers not to write down her concerns in the patient’s logbook. The managers also encouraged patients and their relatives to lodge complaints about Ms Fernandez.

After hearing the evidence, the Employment Tribunal ruled that Ms Fernandez had been unfairly dismissed and had suffered detrimental treatment as a result of the whistle blowing. The Tribunal described Ms Fernandez as a dedicated and hardworking member of staff who was seen by her employer as a troublemaker who threatened its commercial interests.

If the Group had put in place a whistle blowing policy which was robustly enforced they would more than likely have dealt with the issue in an entirely different way and avoided the expense and bad publicity which resulted from their handling of the matter. This would also have protected not only their staff but also their patients.

If you need advice on your legal obligations and rights in relation to whistle blowing, call Miss Renney today on 01225 632240 or email her at jennifer@renneyandco.com for further information.

For more information about Renney and Co Employment Solicitors, check out our website. You can stay connected with us by searching for 'Renney and Co' on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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